Person who writes about baseball for a living Jon Heyman sent out the following tweet this afternoon:
We assume he's not being ironic here, or else he would have read:
As a recent victim of Theriot Fever, we feel as if we are in great position to break down how wrong Heyman's tweet is:
1. "Versatile Infielder": Yes, versatile. He can be both one of the worst fielding shortstops in baseball or one of the poutiest, below average second baseman in baseball.
The Cardinals led the division until July 27, four days before the Furcal acquisition. Speaking only about his own role, Theriot noted, "When I was playing shortstop we were in first place. I know that. It is what it is."
Given the chance he could probably be a really bad third or first baseman, too.
2."Excellent Bat": Ryan Theriot has a career OPS+ of 83. He had one excellent year of getting on base in 2008, but even with his .387 OBP that year he still only slugged .359 to finish with a below average OPS+ of 92. That is hard to do. His career slash lines are ..282/.344/.353, but he's had a .321 OBP the last two seasons.
My real issue here is Heyman's use of "excellent." Even if you see good traits in Theriot's offensive performance, in what universe would it qualify as "excellent?" This is an egregious misuse of an adjective. Baseball players everywhere who are actually excellent should be offended.
Alternate possible theory: Heyman was describing Theriot's actual bat, which is better made than most bats:
It wasn't lost on us that even Heyman can not gloss over Theriot being one of the worst baserunners in the history of the sport, so much so that the statistic TOOTBLAN (Thrown Out On The Bases Like A Nincompoop) was actually invented specifically to measure Theriot's crapulance.
He will be a welcome addition to any ball club, so long as it is not the Cardinals.