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« Brett Cecil, Righties and Big Flies | Main | Cain Able to Induce Pop-Ups »
Monday
Mar122012

Magglio's Power Outage

Magglio Ordonez isn't ready to retire. But, as Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports Tweets, interest is lukewarm at best in the 38-year-old who's coming off the worst offensive season of his career and rehabbing a fractured right ankle that knocked him off the Tigers' playoff roster.

Mags still produced at the plate as recently as 2010, when he slugged .474 and posted a 129 OPS+ in 365 plate appearances. But his power has vanished since he originally fractured his ankle sliding into home plate in July of 2010, ending his season. Ordonez slugged just .331 in 357 PAs last year, with a 74 OPS+ that put him in the same sordid company as Alcides Escobar and Jordan Schafer. Unlike those guys, Mags doesn't play up the middle and is wholly dependent on his bat to provide value.

In 2010, Ordonez was still a threat on inside pitches. He slugged .545 when pitchers tried to tie him up, nearly 100 points above the .458 league average:

Ordonez's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, 2010

But last year? Mags slugged just .369 versus inside pitches:

Ordonez's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, 2011

Ordonez didn't suddenly starting hitting a bunch of ground balls, but the fly balls he hit didn't have any oomph on them. Mags' fly balls traveled an average distance of 278 feet in 2010, above the 270 league average. In 2011, however, his fly balls traveled just 256 feet.

Ordonez may well join Hideki Matsui and Vladimir Guerrero in the club of no-glove former sluggers who are forced into retirement due to waning power (I wouldn't stick Johnny Damon in that group just yet). Opening day is fast approaching, and it's slim pickings for greybeards with questions about bat speed and health.

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