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« Om Malik - GigaOM | Main | J.D. Drew's Power Drop »

Magglio Ordonez to return to the Tigers soon

Magglio Ordonez (DET) went on the disabled list on May 11th with a right ankle injury, and it looks like he's getting ready to return.  The injury really showed up in his overall numbers, especially fastballs.  He batted .146 with a measly .220 slugging percentage in 41 atbats decided by the pitch (195 total fastballs seen in 2011).  This is in stark contrast to last season when he hit .357 with a .567 SLG% on fastballs, good for 14th overall in 2010.

Magglio Ordonez
(Click to enlarge)

Ordonez's contact rate on fastballs was actually better this season before going on the DL, up from 88.3% in 2010 to 91.4%.  However, the balls he put in play haven't been particularly well hit.  The hit types he depends on for power (line drives, fly balls) were just not coming off fastballs this season.  He's only hit five fly balls and five line drives off the heater in 39 plate appearances so far.  However, he's already hit 23 groundballs and 6 popups (he popped up 8 fastballs total in 2010).  And his ground ball batting average is only .087 this season, suggesting Ordonez is not squaring the pitch up very well at all.

It's a small sample size, and there's no doubt his ankle problems contributed to his issues at the plate.  Without a strong right ankle, Ordonez would not be able to effectively plant and transfer power when swinging.  If he's fully recovered from that injury that he first received back in July of last season when sliding into home, his numbers vs. fastballs should begin to correct quickly.

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