On a rainy and windy Monday in Clearwater, Wes Helms was the subject of considerable media attention. With the signing of Pedro Feliz, a numbers game has taken shape in the Phillies infield. Rumors have Helms being shopped around, and after his poor 2007, he’s arguably most likely to be cut from the 25-man Opening Day roster. Todd Zolecki recorded the mini press junket with Helms.
On signing Pedro Feliz and how he’s looking at playing time:
“It definitely put a damper in the playing time and all, but … I don’t look at it that way. If it comes down to being on the team or being the backup, then that’s so forth.”
On a potential deal that could benefit his playing time:
“In this game you’re loyal [to] the team you’re on. But when it comes down to your career, you want to play. That’s the only way you can go further. If they have a deal on the table where it benefits me and them, then yeah.”
On his offensive struggles in 2007:
“I had a good Spring Training and everything went great. I think when I didn’t hit the home run right away I started hearing it in my ear … it just messed my whole year up. I’ve always had a short â€”a short, compact swing. I would be the guy if I had 500 at bats, maybe I’d have 20 home runs but I’d have 40 doubles.”
On playing multiple positions in 2008:
“I’m thinking of myself first and third, because when it comes down to it, if there is something that comes down to a trade … that benefits me.”
On where he expects to be on Opening Day:
“I don’t know. That’s something that pans out when it does.”
I find it very interesting that Helms says he was most affected by the fact he couldn’t hit a home run early in the season (his first came on June 13). He blamed, more or less, peer pressure on his struggles. Obviously baseball is a mental game, but how does a guy not go with his strengths, especially when he’s performing so poorly?
I wouldn’t be upset to see Helms get dealt for something, maybe cheap pitching. While he could show to become a .280 hitter with moderate power, his inability to correct himself over an entire season is incredibly poor.