Monday, April 25, 2011
Stroll through the stats: Bautista, A-Rod hot
By David Schoenfield
We did it last week. We'll try it again ... a Monday stroll through the stats as we pass the time with no day baseball. (Seriously, Bud, forget worrying about things like expanded playoffs and labor deals ... just get us day baseball, every day, and we'll be much happier.)
- Jose Bautista reached base 11 straight times before finally going hitless (with two walks) on Sunday. He has 19 walks in 18 games and a .506 on-base percentage. Yes, he's for real. By my count, the following players had more walks than games played in a season (minimum 100 games): Barry Bonds (five times), Ted Williams (five times), Babe Ruth (twice), Mark McGwire, Eddie Joost, Mickey Mantle and Jack Clark. Nice company if he can keep it up.
- Is it me, or is Alex Rodriguez quietly having a monster April that seems to be getting little attention? I think I've read more about Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Meanwhile, A-Rod is hitting .354/.492/.792. He seems locked in at the plate and the scary thing for pitchers is that he has 14 walks and only six strikeouts. A-Rod's walk rate dropped to 9.9 percent last season, his lowest since 1999.
- Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have carried the Dodgers so far, but warning to Dodgers fans: The two also rank 1-2 in the majors in BABIP (batting average in balls in play) at .484 and .451, respectively.
- Nice to see the early resurgence from Lance Berkman, leading the NL with a .725 slugging percentage. As bad as Berkman looked with the Yankees last season (one home run in 106 at-bats), it was easy to forget that this guy posted a .906 OPS in 2009 and finished fifth in the MVP vote in 2008.
- Sam Fuld leads the majors with 10 steals, more proof of Joe Maddon installing an aggressive baserunning mentality with the Rays. Fuld had just 23 career steals in the minors. The team with the most steals in the majors, however, is Kansas City, with 30 -- and they've only been caught five times, for an 86 percent success rate. The Royals were eighth in the majors in steals in 2010, but just 20th in success rate at 70 percent.
- Oakland's rotation leads the majors with a 2.20 ERA. The Cubs are last with a ghastly 6.03 mark. Showing how much teams have struggled to generate offense in the AL, the six worst rotation ERAs all belong to NL teams. The worst in the AL: the Yankees, with a 4.62 mark.
- The Marlins lead in bullpen ERA (1.79), lowest batting average allowed (.189) and lowest OPS (.527). Philly's pen has allowed just one home run in 56 innings.
- Alfonso Soriano has six home runs, Tyler Colvin two and nobody else has more than one for the Cubs.
- The Padres are averaging 2.86 runs per game ... no team has averaged less than three runs per game since the '72 Rangers and Angels.
- Pitchers I'm worried about: Madison Bumgarner (10 walks, only nine K's in 17.1 IP), Javier Vazquez (11/16 SO/BB ratio, fastball velocity same as last year, which means down from 2009), Mike Pelfrey (34 hits in 23.2 IP, 12/13 SO/BB ratio).
- From FanGraphs: the Mariners have the worst UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) in the majors at -16.6 runs. Jack Wilson, Brendan Ryan, Ichiro Suzuki, Milton Bradley and Ryan Langerhans all with bad ratings. So not only can four of those guys not hit, now they can't field either. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Seattle Mariners!