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Darin Erstad

Update [2007-3-20 8:57:9 by Eric Hz]: From this morning's Chicago Sun-Times:

''When the season is over,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said Monday of Erstad, ''he is going to have 500 at-bats.''

The mercurial manager of the Chicago White Sox has announced that Darin Erstad will bat 2nd against righty pitchers with Scott Podsednick leading-off.  My immediate thought was, "Who's the loser on the other side of the platoon?"  Then I thought, "Oh my God!  Darin Erstad has just taken Brian N. Anderson's job!"

If Anderson cannot beat out Darin Erstad, I'm not sure I can even consider Anderson at any level of sleeper status.  He stunk last season and appears to have fallen into the 4A purgatory.  Did he get enough time to show he could out-hit Darin Erstad?  Possibly.  He did get 385 ABs and only hit .225.  While his HRs (8) and SB (4) are as good as anything one could expect Erstad to do, I am not convinced Anderson can hit for a high enough AVG to overtake Erstad's OBP.  So while I want to go with the young player, I can understand the decision.

More importantly for fantasy players is the signal Ozzie sends on Scott Podsednick.  Pods has been back for just a week, but he is already considered the lead-off hitter.  Since Podsednick brings just one skill - stealing bases, one must assume Ozzie will utilize that skill.  As such, Scott Podsednick is now a sleeper for SBs.  My question is when he should be taken in mixed-league drafts.

Of course, Ozzie may answer the question for me via a capricious change-of-heart.