Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Genius Maker #106

The last time Phil Hughes pitched my main comment was that it was great to see him not walk any batters. Last night was the opposite. He did get ahead of some hitters and make some good pitches, but he walked far too many guys as he just was inconsistent with his release point. Bad outing!

A few other points…

Bases loaded situation and Toronto was up with 2 outs. A ball is ripped up the middle and Cano makes a phenomenal stop and flips to Jeter who was late getting to the bag and he looked slow as well, Jeter's foot and the runner arrived at the bag almost simultaneously and the ump called the runner safe. Bad play by Jeter and while if you asked me who got there first, I would say Jeter did, it was so close that you can't blame the ump; Jeter was late and caused the outcome to be a flip of the coin...that put the game in a much harder spot to come back on. Fortunately, Vazquez came in and got out of further trouble and outside of letting up a HR he pitched really well for 4.1 innings. While I am piling on Jeter, he is killing us in the leadoff spot against righties. His OPS against lefties is an excellent .900, but he is .651 against righties and anyone with a clue can see, he looks bad. Will it continue? Hard to say, but if this were anyone else there is ZERO chance he would still be in the leadoff spot, especially against righties. Jeter has a .320 OBP against righties and a poor .338 overall OBP. Some managers like to throw a very fast guy in the leadoff spot regardless of their poor OBP as there is some unwritten rule that the leadoff guy must be fast. OK, there are some advantages to having a fast guy set the stage for the beginning of an inning, but what is more important is getting on base for your big boppers to drive them in. I never understood how this simple yet critical common sense is lost? Wade Boggs was a terrific hitter, who was slow, but he would get on base for the big guys and he was a great leadoff hitter because of his ability to not make outs and be on base for your best power guys to drive him in. Obviously if you have Ricky Henderson, that is perfect, but there are not many Ricky's around. The thing about Jeter is that he is probably one of the slowest leadoff hitters around. Only Marco Scutaro, on Boston, has less SB's than Jeter for AL players over 300 AB's in the leadoff spot. Actually, I wouldn’t have Scutaro leadoff either, but maybe their injuries are the reason? Either way, I like my better hitters getting more AB's than my weaker hitters and Jeter should lose his leadoff spot against righties. I said this awhile ago, but I would swap Jeter and Gardner against righties. Jeter needs to be at the bottom of the lineup against righties.

Tex made 6 outs in 4 AB’s…bad game for him as he was up with guys on all game. He also short armed a popup that should not be his fault as other 1st baseman probably wouldn’t have gotten it either, but when the ball tips off the edge of your glove and then you slide feet first, you obviously were not leaning forward and extending as far as you could. It would have been a really good play, but I think he would tell you he misplayed it.

The other thing that stood out to me was how hard Thames hit a few balls. He ripped a HR and then hit a moon shot foul and this was after ripping a double. Thames has been a great pickup! I said I liked him as he gave us the bat against lefties we needed, but he has been better than I expected, even being decent against righties On the year, Thames has an impressive OPS of .894 with a .950 OPS against lefties and a solid .814 against righties.

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