|Photo by Michael Baron|
Not because I think the Hernandez will make an excellent second baseman but this is old fashion baseball motivation. What does leaking a rumor about a journeyman who's played one game at the position say to the club...
It tells all those non-roster invitees who are still in camp to keep fighting, this guy will pick whoever plays the best not who has the biggest contract. It gives all the little guys motivation to dig in and fight for the last 15 days. Competition is good, if you get the bottom half pushing it will naturally rub off on the regulars who might find themselves starting to coast once they feel season ready.
It also sends a not so subtle message to Louis Castillo, Brad Emaus, Dan Murphy and Justin Turner that they're not getting the job done. Now we'll see what kind of character and talent they have, do they continue to flounder or will at least one of them step up. I think the last thing they want is Castillo winning by default which is why they're putting the most heat on him.
Don't get me wrong I think Alderson & Co. would be fine with Castillo winning the job, what I don't think they like is the idea of him winning by default. By spreading rumors about Collins not liking him and wanting to name a player Castillo would surely see as inferior, I have to wonder if it's a character check for Louie. Does he get mad and turn it on or does he pout and mail it in.
So I'm not engaging in this debate over Hernandez because I see it as a motivational message and I think it's an excellent strategic move. You motivate everyone for the home stretch of spring training while character checking several competing players...