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Cantu sighting!

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He gets his first start of the year at 3rd tonight. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I'm not against having Green in the lineup, particularly since he has shown better command of the strike zone than he did in Atlanta last season. His minor league performance doesn't suggest anything other than a fairly mediocre hitter but he's in his age 26 season, the first of the three years when the majority of major league hitters have the best performances of their careers. A better showing than last season or even a flukishly good career year is certainly a possibility.

This of course presents a problem since as long as Cantu is in the majors he needs to be getting regular playing time. This wouldn't be an issue except for defense and the presence of Alex Gonzalez. Defensively Green has been very unsteady at third this season and Cantu didn't do well there last year. With Lou Piniella's tendency to make snap decisions based on single games or even single plays, this is a problem for either of them, particularly since Gonzalez is a good defender.

In my opinion either of them could do fine, they just need time there. Neither has spent much time at the hot corner in their careers and though both appear to have the physical tools to handle third it is a very different position than second. With time either Green or Cantu could do well there, Lou just needs to actually be patient for once and leave them alone.

Of course, that knocks Gonzalez out of a job. This wouldn't be an issue but he's being paid almost $2 million and he's a guy that Lou wanted brought it as his starter. That means it'll be hard to sit him almost every game unless the hitting performances really force the issue. It's a mess the Rays created for themselves, we can just hope that they'll swallow their pride and do what's best for the team: Bench Gonzalez.