The Problem with Joe Crede – has really been better than a poke in the eye?

So, I have been mostly absent this summer. However, I do have good reason. As a law student, I worked for a government agency part time this summer, and part of the contract I signed at the beginning at my summer specified that I could not do any of several online activities, and included in those was “writing for websites, whether for profit or not, whether administered by the employee or not.” I bent the rules a couple times in order to bring you all a couple posts, but I decided in August that it was no longer worth risking my job/future career prospects to bring you juicy Twins gossip, especially since I have made no attempt to hide my identity on this page.

That said, I’m back.

When the Twins signed Joe Crede to an incentive-based contract in February, I wrote a post entitled “Joe Crede: Better than a poke in the eye.(tm)“. In it, I gave a long, bulleted list of my thoughts on Crede. Here are a select few, with how I did in hindsight, at least where appropriate (5 is perfectly right, 4 is sorta kinda right, 3 is meh, 2 is really meh, and 1 is totally wrong):

  • Crede was good on defense (I say was, because we won’t know until tomorrow how he really is). Very good on defense. (5)
  • Crede can hit for power. (4 – power is about all he hit for, at least in April and May)
  • Crede doesn’t hit for average. This is not to say he can’t… just that he doesn’t. (5)
  • Crede has a bad back. (5 – and ankle, and shin, and shoulder, and…)
  • Bad backs and FieldTurf go together like, well, a log and a chipper-shredder. (5)
  • Crede killed the Twins last two years. (4 – when he was healthy. He’s also killing the Twins this year, but for different ways)
  • Crede DIDN”T kill the Twins every year.
  • Adding Crede adds power to (most likely) the seven spot in the batting order. (4)
  • Crede has a bad reputation for his clubhouse behavior and failure to play nicely with others. (2 – I was wrong about this – I heard some new info not too long after I wrote the original post. He had a lot of problems with Ozzie, but what sane person doesn’t?)
  • Crede hit well for power in the Cell, a very hitter-friendly ballpark. (5 – As noted, he has killed the White Sox in their home park this year)
  • Crede’s career numbers are not that much better than the platoon of Buscher and Harris. (4 – this season, he has been about equal to the average of Buscher and Harris at the plate, which isn’t saying much, because Buscher was epically bad before he was sent down. Harris would have been better, except for his power numbers)
  • Buscher and Harris have fewer than four years at the big-league level put together.
  • Buscher and Harris are really impressing in Spring Training so far.
  • We got a really good deal on Crede, but it could be expensive if it comes to opportunity costs on Danny Valencia, Brian Buscher, or Brendan Harris. (5 – the unwillingness to put Crede on the damn disabled list has cost the Twins a lot, if only in bench options)
  • We have a better deal on Brendan Harris and Brian Buscher. (Excluding Buscher, yes)
  • Many (maybe most) bloggers will be criticizing for being exactly the player we know he is by midseason. (2 – surprisingly, most have been resigned to exactly what he has given)

So, was Joe Crede actually better than a poke in the eye? Yes, because a poke in the eye hurts a lot. And then you can’t see properly.

Seriously, we knew exactly what we were getting when we signed Crede. He has not been healthy since the first few weeks of the season, but he has produced exactly what we knew he would while he was in the line-up: a decent amount of power, no average. He also has turned in a series of dazzling plays at third base.

Look, Crede isn’t to blame. He probably gets hurt picking up his take-out meals on the road. He’s made of glass. And he’s been broken for most of the year. This isn’t a surprise.

Who is to blame for the damage Crede has done to this team? The team itself: the trainers, the front office, and Gardy. Crede has been hurting badly this season, for most of the season. When he hasn’t been in the lineup, the twins have had a three-person bench (really a two-person bench, due to the backup catcher thing), because I don’t think he’s ever been available off the bench this season. Crede has been out of the lineup 3-5 days every two weeks, while never having been on the DL. Had he gone on the DL any one of these times, he might have been in better shape at this point. And we might have had a decent bench option that could have made a difference.

As I write this, Crede is likely done for at least the near future, and probably the season, after an MRI revealed “Post-Operative Changes” in his surgically repaired back. If four to five months of playing 2/3 of the time does this to his back, I’ll be surprised if he is back next year on anything other than a minor league contract.

Stick a fork in Crede – he’s likely done with baseball. He has nine years in the majors – one season away from being fully vested. I hope he can do one more year, but I doubt he can do it. I have been wrong before, very very wrong at times, but this seems like a safe bet. What do you think?

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One Response

  1. good good study day day up

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