NO Yuli Fans. He STILL Is Not a Utility Player
To all of those Yuli fans. You clearly care more about Yuli than the Astros, so this article is for you.
The Marlins have played 14 games- Yuli has played 8- ALL at first base. There has been no utility Yuli. There is zero evidence that the Marlins want to ever play Yuli at anything but 1B. This website does ANALYSIS which is frankly foreign to most sports fans because that really isn't what 90% of sports media does anymore. Let's reset what we said in the past about Yuli to set the stage on Yuli in 2023 and how the Marlins are using him.
1. I showed WHY there was no reason to believe Yuli could be a utility player here.
If you want to disagree with me on that, talk to the Marlins- ZERO innings at 2B, 3B, any OF, or DH. ZERO.
2. We SHOWED the difference between Yuli with rest and Yuli without rest last year.
All 2023 is proving is how terrible it was to have Yuli try to play every day last year.
Last season Garrett Cooper was mediocre or worse vs. Breaking Pitches (Sliders, Curves, and Sweepers) from LHP. He wasn't good vs. breaking pitches from RHP either but neither was Gurriel. Gurriel is their choice for LH breaking ball pitchers.
Let's breakdown who Yuli has been started against.
Let me show you actual data of Gurriel by pitch type through his MLB career.
The 2023 data is too early and might actually be a distraction currently. Do notice however how Gurriel vs. fastballs dropped in 2022- 0.334 to 0.284. That is a HUGE DROP for someone who had been so consistent from 2017 to 2021. The drop vs. offspeed pitches may be even more concerning- 0.333 to 0.270 in 2022.
Basically, the only thing Gurriel did well in 2022 was hit breaking pitches from LHP.
Also, for ALL of the over-the-top celebrating of Yuli fans and dragging they are doing of Abreu and the Astros, are you all aware he is hitting 105 wRC+ and 0.756 OPS? A 105 WRC+ is above average but it does NOT make him the All-Star you are making him out to be. He is a part time 1B that is off to a good start. Enjoy that. But temper your enthusiasm before you look stupid. Oh, are you aware both of these are below his career average?
The Marlins have sometimes used Gurriel in an optimal matchup and they have given him some rest. For all of the bluster of the Yuli fans about Abreu's slow start, they totally ignore one fact. Yuli Gurriel would NOT have been deployed by Dusty Baker in this way in 2023:
If the Astros had NOT signed Abreu, he would have been playing every day and he would be sucking doing so because we showed he can't play every day.
If the Astros had signed Yuli WITH Abreu thinking he could play second base, HE STILL would not be playing because Dusty would be staying with Abreu at 1B and hot Dubon at 2B (initially for his defense.) You all would be livid that your hero would have like 10 plate appearances.
In 2023, the Astros needed an everyday first baseman or someone that could cover multiple positions. That is NOT Yuli Gurriel.
We shall see how the Marlins continue to deploy Yuli. I would STRONGLY suggest Yuli fans chill out. Here is the thing. When your fandom for a single player exceeds your fandom for the team, don't be surprised when fans of the team don't share your priorities.
Hey if you want to sign up for the #YuliTreatment let me know on Twitter. You might want to consult with those that claimed Bregman sucked early on though.