Around the System Saturday: The Gnats Win

A+ St. Lucie Mets 6, @ Dunedin Blue Jays 2 (suspended after 4 innings)


A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 7, Rome Braves 0

Five different Gnats had multiple hits, led by 3B Dustin Lawley, who was a homer shy of the cycle. With the promotions of Travis Taijeron, TJ Rivera and Aderlin Rodriguez, Lawley must have a big second half if the Gnats are going to score enough runs to stay competitive.

 Jimmy Fuller kept his fastball off the middle of the plate, and threw a whole lot of curveballs to keep the Braves off balance: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.


SSA: @ Staten Island Yankees 3, Brooklyn Cyclones 1

CF Brandon Nimmo (.233/.379/.371) and SS Philip Evans (.235/.318/.341) were a combined 0-for-7, but Nimmo drew a walk, his 24th.


R: @ Greeneville Astros 13, K-Mets 4 

So it goes for the K-Mets, who needed six pitchers to get through this one.

Starter John Gant did not make it through three innings: 2.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 3 HR.


From my point view the defense is better because Garnett is no longer a PF but is still athletic enough for thecenter position. At the center garnett is still quicker than 80 percent of the guys but at PF he struggles. However, I think the man question that should be ansered is not whether Garnett is better playing center that was proven last year in Boston. The question is whether this team is siple better defensively without lopez? Lopez has never been a great defender. Sure he has gotten better with blocks and so forth but he does not rebound, his post defense is not great, and he is slow and not very athletic.

Offensively there are questions regarding Lopez as well. Offense is supposed to be Lopez's game since you don't get much else from him when he does not produce offensively. However, from what I have seen he is another ball stopper. Like Johnson he tends to hold the ball and have iso plays slowing down the offense. He also creats spacing problems.

The question King should be asking is moving forward does this team really need a 25 year old offensively gifted center who is not particularly athletic, is chronically injured, does not rebound or play much defense, while also slowing down the offense? This team doesn't need scoring at least not in thewayu Lopez provides it. What it needs is defense and athletic ability. What if you traded Lopez to the Bucks for a Larry Sanders and some young parts.