The Futility Infielder

A Baseball Journal by Jay Jaffe I'm a baseball fan living in New York City. In between long tirades about the New York Yankees and the national pastime in general, I'm a graphic designer.

Friday, June 26, 2009

 

Get Me Rewrite

It was a weird week for the Prospectus Hit List in that I worked ahead considerably so that I could enjoy a night out with my wife for her birthday. Then of course I found that three players whose slumps I'd highlighted — the Tigers' Magglio Ordonez, the Rangers' Chris Davis, and the Reds' Willy Taveras — all had big nights while I was out. Get me rewrite, and more coffee, damn it.
[#8 Tigers] Cancel Maggs Subscription? The Tigers bench Magglio Ordonez for four games, a move which has agent Scott Boras up in arms. The 35-year-old Ordonez is only 204 plate appearances away from vesting an $18 million option for 2010, but he's hitting just .274/.348/.354 after connecting for his first homer since April 27; his GB/FB ratio has nearly doubled, while his line drive rate has dropped 40 percent.

[#12 Rangers] Swish Davis and Company: A 2-7 tumble, part of an 9-12 June swoon, knocks the Rangers out of the sole possession of first place that they'd enjoyed since May 5. They're hitting just .221/.282/.368 this month, with Hank Blalock (.182/.280/.3218), Nelson Cruz (.183/.256/.394) and Chris Davis among the bigger bats stinking up the joint, though a four-hit performance snaps him out of a .200/.250/.333 showing. Davis has whiffed 22 times in his last 49 at-bats, and 103 times in 230 at-bats overall (against just 15 walks). He's crossed the halfway point to breaking the single-season strikeout rate—by mid-September.

[#22 Reds] Can't Stop the Bleeding: The Reds slide below .500 and into fourth place in the NL Central thanks to Dusty Baker's stubborn insistence upon keeping Willy Taveras not only in the lineup but also in the leadoff spot. Taveras is just 4-for-54 in June without a walk or an extra-base hit, and as Geoff Young points out, his slump actually goes back to May 15; he's now at .104/.128/.113 in 111 PA since then. In an unrelated story, the Reds are averaging just 3.8 runs per game since May 15, the league's third-lowest rate. Late note: In the exception that proves the rule, Taveras goes 3-for-5 with a double.
By the third one, to hell with it, tack on the postscript.

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