Results tagged ‘ Brendan Harris ’
Will he be in the major leagues in 2012? Should he?
I’ve written plenty about Brendan Harris in 2011 already — here, here, and here – and don’t really have much more to add. It’s safe to say that a 31-year-old player coming off consecutive .233/.292/.353 and .225/.282/.331 seasons in AAA isn’t an immediate candidate for a big-league job.
Harris has to rely on his bat for a utility job, so if this is a new level of skill, he’ll never see the major leagues again. If he can rebound with the bat, then he’s iffy — a bat-first utility infielder. In the National League, that can be useful, but less so in the American League. With borderline players like Harris, reputation as a good guy in the clubhouse can help him earn one of those last spots; I’ve heard that Harris isn’t a good guy in the clubhouse.
Harris signed with the Rockies for 2012.
I’ve been out of town for the past week, and therefore missed the four-game series at Harbor Park between Charlotte and the Tides. I returned to work last night’s Durham game, which the Tides won 3-2. Once again, I got to see Brendan Harris play shortstop.
Since I last commented on Brendan Harris, the Tides have made the usual personnel changes. The change most relevant to Harris are the promotion of Josh Bell to Baltimore and the corresponding promotion of Carlos Rojas to Norfolk. How does all this affect Brendan Harris? Bell was the Tides’ third baseman, and couldn’t play anywhere else. Rojas is a good defensive infielder, but can’t hit at all, and thus isn’t a candidate to be a major-league utilityman. Since both Harris and Rojas are now in the Organization Player stage of their career. manager Gary Allenson can use them to try to win games instead of developing their skills for the major leagues. So, Rojas is now the most-regular shortstop, meaning Harris can play third base.
Last night, manager Allenson gave Rojas the night off, and so Harris filled in at shortstop. For whatever reason, Harris made several good plays. The most memorable came in the seventh inning. With runners on first and second and no outs, Durham’s Leslie Anderson hit a ground ball to the left of second. The ball took a sudden sharp hop but Harris was able to stay with it, race to second for a force out, and then throw to first in time to get Anderson for the double play.
Harris did commit an error, when he got to a ground ball hit up the middle and made an ill-advised throw into the first-base dugout (it went as a single and error.) But I may have been a little bit too harsh on Harris earlier; he’ll never be a great shortstop but he may be adequate.
Every so often, something happens on the field that is just amusing. I’m not necessarily talking about those plays that appear on those MLB “Blooper” videos, in which fielders stop as the ball falls among them or a shortstop tries to pick up a grounder as he’s charging. I’m talking more about what happened during the ninth inning of the game I scored Tuesday night.
With one out, Braves outfielder Stefan Gartrell hit a home run to extend the Braves’ lead to 9-1. That’s not amusing. Next batter Mauro Gomez, however, hit a medium-speed grounder toward the hole between short and third. Tides’ shortstop Brendan Harris took a couple of steps to his right and dove for the ball, but the ball bounded under his dive. The next batter, Shawn Bowman, hit a medium-speed grounder toward the hole between short and third. Again, Harris took a couple of steps to his right and dove for the ball, and again the ball bounded under his dive. The next batter, J.C. Boscan, hit yet another medium-speed grounder toward the same hole. Again, Harris took the couple of steps to his right and dove, seemingly in tantalizingly slow motion as the ball bounded under his dive. I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I saw this.
I shouldn’t find that funny. Brendan Harris was certainly trying his hardest, and I’m sure was he was annoyed that he couldn’t make any one of the plays. But still, there’s something comical about him trying so hard and failing so narrowly. At least the only thing hurt was Brendan Harris’ pride.