"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I love A-Rod's OPS

One of the arguments that is used to defend Alex Rodriguez is that his OPS is near 1.000.

That's all well and good.

However, it means nothing when his OPS with runners in scoring position is about .200 points lower.

0-for-5, two double plays, two strike outs and seven runners left on base tonight. The distractions, the failures...is he really worth it? All will be forgiven when he drives in 140 runs next year, right?

The rest of the team cannot escape criticism, however. Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte are just as guilty as Rodriguez is.

My one wish is that the Yankees don't tease us during the final stretch of the season, because I can't handle a let down.


Kongon said...

A-Rod did his usual shtick again tonight, even striking out to end the game -- with a man on base! Ugh.

Anonymous said...

The AL league averages in all situations combined are:

batting average: .267
on base percentage: .336
slugging percentage: .420

ARod's rates with RISP this season are:

batting average: .246
on base percentage: .400
slugging percentage: .413

It is pretty baffling. And his OBP is still awesome, due to a lot of walks. I know walks sound boring, but they are very valuable, and I can't stand it when the analysts bash guys for taking a walk instead of swinging. I mean, how can you fault a guy for not swinging at a crap pitch out of the zone? If only a guy like Cano could learn that kind of plate discipline. But anyway, even in this case ARod's OBP is a bit misleading due to an unusually high number of hit-by-pitches and intentional walks. And while his OPS of .813 with RISP is disappointing, keep in mind that it is still higher than Jeter's and Abreu's, and it is equal to Damon's. And unlike Jeter and Abreu, ARod is at least killing the ball when there are no RISP. That is important too.

His batting average and power hitting numbers are way down with RISP this season. That cannot be denied. But he is still the guy I want at the plate in these sitatuations. Just look at what the guy did last year in these situations. His rates were .333/.460/.678, which is an insanely awesome OPS of 1.138.

His career rates with RISP are .303/.404/.553, which is a very impressive .957 OPS, and in a much larger sample size.

So I guess what I conclude is this: his performance in these situations has been extremely disappointing this season, but his career numbers with RISP and last year's performance with RISP makes me very confident in this guy in those situations. I think this year's performance with RISP is simply a small sample size fluke.

And yes, all will be forgiven if he drives in 140 runs next year. I mean, you have to be fair to the guy. He had one of the greatest seasons ever last year and everyone already seems to have forgotten that. He is having a very good season this year and nobody cares to recognize that either.

He is still the best hitter on the team this year, so I can't get too upset with him. They wouldn't even be sniffing the playoffs if we had a league average 3B or, even worse, Wilson Betemit as the starting 3B guy. Alex is an awesome hitter. Hopefully, he'll do well with RISP next season, as that is what his history suggests will happen. I am confident that he will.

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