Wasn’t it just a few years ago that I (and about every other Astros fan) was talking about how often Astros pitchers would throw a quality start, only to lose because of no offensive support?
Yep, it was.
And wasn’t it me last year who was saying that it is difficult for pitchers to do well when they have terrible fielders? Sure was.
However, whether I like it or not, it isn’t the 60s any more, and the Box is most definitely NOT the Dome and the modern game is not all about small ball, it is about home runs – it’s why they have hard baseballs and small stadiums.
Apparently, we have signed Kaz Matsui to a 3 year/15 milliondeal to play second, which means that Chris Burke is out as a second baseman. I talked about Matsui several weeks ago, and unlike most other Astros fans, am unimpressed. For some reason, seems most fans are absolutely and completely unwilling to examine a players CAREER record and are only interested in the previous year’s record. And Matsui most definitely hit well at Coors, no question. Problem is that he did, well, not well everywhere else.
In 2004, his first year, his home/away splits were almost even and for the year, he hit .272/.331/.396/.727 with 14 SB and 3 CS in 460 AB over 114 games without any games at Coors. (Yes, better than Chris Burke last year, seeing as how no one is willing to agree that he ever had any AB in the majors before then.)
In 2005, his second year, again, no games at Coors, he hit .255/.300/.352/.652 in 267 AB over 87 games with 6 SB and 1 CS with fairly even home/away splits.
In 2006, he split the year between the Mets and the Rockies, so I’ll list his lines at Coors and away from Coors. It’s a bit different than “home” and away because he had 2 diffferent homes that year.
At Coors, he hit .411/.476/.500/.976 in 56 AB over 17 games. Away from Coors, he hit .225/.260/.320/.580 in 187 AB over 53 games. INteresting that all of a sudden, he had HUGE Coors/away from Coors splits.
Last year, away from Coors, he hit .249/.304/.333/.638 in 213 AB over 55 games. And, mind you, he only started in 2/3 of all games played last year.
To summarize, away from Coors, his line is, over 4 years in the majors, .256/.305/.367/.672 in 1127 AB over 309 games (he has 66 more games played at Coors, where he hits like crazy) with 46 SB and 6 CS.
INCLUDING Coors, his RCAA over the last 3 years are -20, -25 and -7. We are not talking great offense here, are we???
I keep hearing – oh isn’t it great we have all this SPEED!!! Well, you have to get on base first. Bourn is projected by ZIPS to have an OBP of .310 and Matsui’s non-Coors’ OBP is .304. You still can NOT steal first – and, by the way, Matsui can’t steal against lefties – has only 4 SB in his American career (neither can Bourn, but we won’t go there.)
And, by the way, no one has yet commented on the fact that the greatest number of games he has played in 1 year is 114, in his first year. Now we’re expecting 162? Well, maybe not. It’s possible that he’ll be facing rightys and Burke leftys, I’m not sure. But I AM sure that keeping Burke on the bench to pinch hit is a waste of a roster spot – he’s at his absolute worst when he pinch hits – in 58 PA, he’s hit .176/.288/.275/.563 with 3 RBI.
Poor guy. But I must say I love all the fan suggestions that we package him with Scott and some “prospect” for a #2 pitcher. Good grief.
But the thing is that unlike a lot of other Astros fans, I don’t think that doing something just to do SOMEthing is necessarily a a good thing, let alone a smart thing. At least McLane hasn’t told Tal Smith to tell Ed Wade to give out any more 100 mill contracts…
I at least hope McLane allows Tal to offer arb to Loretta, who is about to sign with the Yankees, to Jason Jennings and to Trever Miller. Yeah, they are all Type B, but at least we will get a little compensation and a few more picks. Hard to believe that Lamb isn’t even a Type B, but this is why I seriously doubt he’ll get a multi year, multi mill deal as a starting 3B for any team.
Anyway, because I am so depressed about my baseball team, I think I’ll tell all yall a nice joke (well, re-told a little…)
So this Astros blogger brought her very limp baseball team’s lineup card into a stat geek. As she laid her 25 man roster list’s OPS on the table, the stat geek pulled out his spreadsheet and Marcel and examined the team.
After a moment or two, the geek shook his head sadly and said, “I’m so sorry Lisa, your team, the Astros, their hope is dead.”
The distressed blogger wailed, “Are you sure”? “Yes, I am sure. Numbers don’t lie – your team is dead,” he replied.
“How can you be so sure”? she protested. “I mean, you haven’t even checked the chemistry or speed. They might just be in a coma or something.”
The stat geek rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room, and returned a few moments later with a black Labrador Retriever. The dog trotted over to the computer, stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the table and sniffed the spreadsheet from top to bottom. He then looked at the stat geek with sad eyes and shook his head. He patted the dog and took it out, and returned a few moments later with a cat. The cat jumped up on the table and also sniffed delicately at the ZIPS and Marcel and CHONE projections from top to bottom. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.
The stat geek looked at the blogger and said, “I’m sorry grrrrrl, but as I said, this team is most definitely, 100 percent certifiably, dead.” Then he turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the blogger, who took the bill. “$150!” she cried. “$150 just to tell me my team sucked itself to death?
The stat geek shrugged. ”I’m sorry. If you’d taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the lab report and the cat scan, it’s now $150.