Position-by-position Matchups World Series

October 16, 1993|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

FIRST BASE

Blue Jays: If we do this on appearance, John Olerud wins hands down. He looks good in a uniform, hasn't been caught expectorating in public and has a classic hitting style. Not so efficient on defense, but when you lead the league in hitting, that can be overlooked.

Phillies: Ten years from now, John Kruk will be wowing 'em in a beer league somewhere. For the present, he terrorizes pitchers with his look and his bat. A solid line-drive, in-your-face kind of hitter who looks as if he can wreak havoc -- and does with his bat.

Edge: A slight one to the Blue Jays, maybe just on style points.

SECOND BASE

Blue Jays: How many different ways can you say Roberto Alomar is the best at his position in the game? He might even be baseball's best all-around player. His only weakness is saying what he thinks, which sometimes tweaks the opposition.

Phillies: Mariano Duncan will start Game 1, but Mickey Morandini is expected to play some during the Series, too. Neither will overwhelm you, offensively or defensively, but they get the job done.

Edge: The Blue Jays in a mismatch.

THIRD BASE

Blue Jays: Ed Sprague is probably the best eighth-place hitter in the game. He has some power, and even though he strikes out frequently, he also puts the ball in play to the opposite field. Vastly improved defensively, he's a budding star.

Phillies: Dave Hollins is one of those guys who grows on you. He's a switch-hitter (better from the right side) with pop and a good run producer. Evidently, he's only fair defensively, because Kim Batiste keeps showing up in time for late-inning adventures.

Edge: A small one for the Phillies.

SHORTSTOP

Blue Jays: Tony Fernandez may be better the second time around, but he still can be erratic. A switch-hitter who can be troublesome, he nevertheless can be pitched to, and opposing pitchers will work around the middle of the lineup to get to him.

Phillies: You have to remember that Juan Bell played here Opening Day, so you can't say this is a Phillies strength. However, Kevin Stocker came out of the minor leagues with a good glove and no bat and helped with both.

Edge: Blue Jays, only because of experience.

LEFT FIELD

Blue Jays: Rickey Henderson's wake-up call should arrive any day now. His free-agent price has devalued faster than the Canadian dollar since his late-season arrival from Oakland. But he's still potentially the game's most destructive leadoff hitter.

Phillies: Here we have a platoon situation, but the Blue Jays don't have any left-handed starters. Left-handed-hitting Milt Thompson provides speed and defense. Pete Incaviglia has the power and could be the designated hitter in the games in Toronto.

Edge: The Blue Jays, still expecting a return on their investment.

CENTER FIELD

Blue Jays: Devon White is the premier defensive outfielder in the American League and a vastly underrated hitter. Almost without notice, he had 12 hits to establish (along with Chicago's Tim Raines) an ALCS record.

Phillies: Lenny Dykstra is the heart and soul of "Our Gang" in Philly. The demise of the Mets began when they traded this guy. He does a little bit of everything and is a big-play, big-game player of the first order.

Edge: Can't take this one away from the Phillies.

RIGHT FIELD

Blue Jays: Joe Carter didn't have a big ALCS, but he's a proven commodity. A very dangerous hitter and run producer, he's also an excellent defensive player and the team's acknowledged leader.

Phillies: Another platoon position, with Jim Eisenreich expected to get the bulk of the playing time. He's a good left-handed hitter with minimal power. Right-handed-hitting Wes Chamberlain is more of a homer threat but not as good for average.

Edge: Clearly to the Blue Jays.

CATCHING

Blue Jays: Pat Borders is one of those guys nobody notices until October, so he's gotten a lot of attention lately at this time of the year. Last year's MVP, he's basically a modest line-drive hitter with only occasional power. Very much underrated defensively.

Phillies: Darren Daulton is one of the originals. It took him awhile to get established, but he's made up for it. An excellent all-around player with good power, he's an integral part of the Phillies' lineup.

Edge: To the Phillies.

DESIGNATED HITTERS

Blue Jays: Paul Molitor is the best in the game, which makes this a very short discussion.

Phillies: They said yesterday that they are going to use Ricky Jordan in Game 1; Chamberlain and Incaviglia might play there in other games. The best news for Philadelphia is that the DH will be used only in Toronto, forcing the Blue Jays to make a decision on Molitor for games 3, 4 and 5.

Edge: Uncontested for the Blue Jays.

STARTING PITCHING

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.