Brian Bogusevic Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE

Brad Mills puzzling benching of Brian Bogusevic and belief in Chris Johnson


To say there has been more than one opportunity for me to go off onto a tangent concerning Brad Mills would be an understatement. That said, I’ve tried to keep my word and not judge the guy until I see the season play out and read the entire book that is the 2012 campaign. That just went out the window, I woke up this morning and saw the lineup card and who do I see playing right field, not Brian Bogusevic. Actually it was Travis Buck but that’s not the point, it appears Mills may have benched our favorite former pitcher turned position player. The benching isn’t indefensible, Brian has been struggling and really hasn’t hit well all year including spring training but the hook bothers me regardless. It bothers me because this team is about opportunity and giving people chances over large sample sizes to prove themselves. We aren’t even out of April and it appears Millsy has lost faith in Bogusevic but even more puzzling is who continues starts at 3B.

This is not so much a pick on Chris Johnson rant as it is on pointing out the lack of understanding I have in Mills’ belief system. So you give Bogusevic some time off to clear his head but also bench a guy with .351 on base percentage at the same time keeping a player with a .301 on base percentage in the lineup? That’s an issue in my book because while Johnson’s batting average is roughly 62 points higher, we’ve already seen Bogusevic cancels that out with his on base percentage. Throw in the fact their slugging percentages are almost equal and we have a problem. Lets not mention defense, that would be an insult toward Brian. The logical assumption you make from this is that Chris Johnson is benched and Bogusevic is still given the opportunity to find his game in right. Mills apparently finds that logic to be wrong at this point.

Now, there is the issue of healthy bodies that clouds the situation. With Carlos Lee and Marwin Gonzalez unavailable, it does limit Brad’s options just a bit. More options exist in the outfield and it does help justify the move a bit however solutions around that can be found quite easily. Brian Bixler is with the club, so why not slot him over to 1st base and play Matt Downs at 3rd or even vice-versa. I, myself, like to try different things so why not move Bogusevic to 1st, a position which he’s played in the minors, and start the above mentioned two at 3rd? It simply appears Brad Mills has more confidence in Chris Johnson than Brian Bogusevic and no shuffling around was even considered.

So what will happen now with Bogusevic? Odds are we will see him in RF soon and he’ll be given another shot but see his playing time dissolve a bit. Hopefully he’ll start to hit a bit more and keep Mills at least reluctant to make a permanent switch but it appears that day is coming. Chris Johnson appears to be the issue here, how much longer do you stick with him at 3rd and how much faith does Mills really have in him to keep jogging out his .301 obp?

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Tags: Brad Mills Brian Bixler Brian Bogusevic Carlos Lee Houston Astros Marwin Gonzalez Matt Downs Travis Buck

  • Astros290

    I don’t like that Chris Johnson is their best option at third base and I don’t like their impatience with Bogusevic. Like you said, we’re not even out of April. Give the guy a shot. But this seems to be a decision based entirely on depth. They have FAR more viable RF options between Buck and Maxwell and even Martinez, Shuck and Ruggiano at Triple-A. They have a lot more outfield depth than they do infield. Their only true options at third base right now are Marwin Gonzalez (who’s not a third baseman and they can’t afford another weak bat in the lineup), Matt Downs (who is playing first base in Carlos Lee’s absence and has an even worse OBP than CJ…has never been very good except for a couple of supremely explosive months last year that made his whole season look lots better than it really was) and Jimmy Paredes (if you consider his .748 OPS and team-leading 18 Ks at Triple-A viable…I don’t). 
     
    Like I said, I’m not wild about him pulling Bogusevic so fast. He’s still trying to win 80 games rather than developing players like he should be doing, which is frustrating. But I don’t really see where else he goes at third base right now. They need to do something about the position in the future but right now I don’t see any quick fixes.

    • LEXthePEX

       @Astros290 I think my whole issue has to do with Bogusevic being benched more than Johnson not being. I understand the lack of depth at 3B so I get him almost being forced to stick with Johnson but does Mills even look at OBP? Bogusevic gets on base a whole more than Johnson so why bench Bogey? Lowrie has been good at SS but Gonzalez is better defensively so why not make Lowrie the guy at third and move Gonzalez to SS?
       
      I just don’t understand the philosophy and mindset Mills’ displays on a day out day in basis. Go for the win, don’t get me wrong, but don’t bench one non-prospect for an even worse non-prospect. If he really doesn’t like Bogey out there than bring up Martinez and stick him in RF.