As a 3B in an eight-team league, Chone, apparently, isn’t all that interesting. We’re currently in the 21st round of a slowlive draft, and Chone has yet to be drafted. If, however, Chone were to qualify as a 2B early in the 2009 season, he’d be considerably more valuable, as the 2B pool is pretty thin. In order to qualify for 2B in this format, he needs to make five appearances at 2B.
So I began to wonder, when did Chone appear in his fifth game at 2B in 2008? Was it one of those things where he played 3B all year and then in late September he played a string of games at 2B? Or was his 2B playing evenly dispersed throughout the 2008 season?
Well, he played his first 2008 game at 2B on April 27th, his second on April 28th, third on April 29th, fourth on April 30th, and fifth on May 1st. That’s pretty early in the season. But perhaps he got a little lucky last year, as Howie Kendrick and Maicer Izturis had injury issues in April of last year.
So when did Chone play his fifth game at second base in 2007? Well, he played his first 2007 game at 2B on May 3rd, his second on May 10th, third on July 8th, fourth on July 15th, and fifth on July 19th. So he gained second base eligibility significantly later in the season in 2007. But it should be noted that he didn’t play his first 2007 game until April 30th, one full month into the season.
So what have we learned? It took Chone 1 month to gain 2B eligibility in 2008, and 2.5 months to gain 2B eligibility in 2007. It should also be noted that on five of the ten dates listed above in which Chone played 2B, Brandon Wood was in the lineup.
Speaking of Brandon Wood, in January, there had been talk of moving Chone to outfield if Brandon Wood impressed in spring training. What has Wood done so far in spring training? 10-for-24 with two HR and two SB. Impressive. But with Bobby Abreu on the team now, it seems less likely that Chone moves to the outfield to give Wood some playing time (unless Abreu becomes a semi-frequent DHer...or maybe Wood plays some DH. Sigh. A lot is still up in the air). To get Wood into the lineup from time to time (as well as 3B role player Robb Quinlan), the Angels might have to slide Chone over to 2B. Another option would be to have Wood play SS and replace the Maicer Izturis / Erick Aybar platoon going on there.
You have to figure that at worst, Chone will have 2B eligibility 2.5 months into the season, which means Chone could be your second baseman for 60% of the season. And if Brandon Wood keeps hitting in spring training, it could happen much sooner than that. It is a little early to be making predictions, but I’d put the over/under at, say, May 25th, 2009.