Friday, January 13, 2012

Victor Diaz to Tryout with Dragons

From Japan's Daily Sports Online via Chunichi will be giving 30 year-old outfielder Victor Diaz a tryout at the end of the month.  He had 485 plate appearances for the New York Mets and Texas Rangers from 2004 to 2007 and most recently played in the Korean and Mexican leagues.  From what I could find about him; he is a guy with a lot of power that strikes out a lot and is somewhat of a liability in the outfield.
While he definitely deserves a look, I'm not sure he solves many of the team's current problems.  The team could use some more power in their lineup, but they also need to improve their ability to get on base (they hit somewhere around .220 as a team last year) and drive in runs.  I was hoping they would be looking at someone more in the Matt Murton mold, there probably isn't anyone of his calibre available, but there must be somebody out there that can handle the bat a bit and not be a liability defensively. 
I not sure how Diaz would fit with this team, they don't have much of a margin for error defensively.  I don't think they could play him in the outfield with Wada, even Oshima can't cover for both of them.  Maybe they are looking at him as a first base alternative, he did play on the infield early in his career.  Blanco is in a make-or-break year, I don't think Chunichi will cut him any slack if he doesn't bounce back and have success early in the season.  Wada I think will get more slack, but they may be looking at him to split time this year due to age and having a rough year in 2011.  So if I had to guess, I think they will sign him and see what he can do with the bat in limited time and then see how they want to proceed with Blanco and Wada.  I'm definitely not seeing a situation like last year where I expected Guzman to play a lot to begin the season.  This also isn't the standard "just add power" situation as for most NPB teams, the Dragons offense is just to deficient for that to work.
They should definitely keep looking to sign other foreign players even if they sign Diaz, if necessary they can keep him in ni-gun as insurance and see how the season progresses.

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