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Entries in Jarrod Saltalamacchia (3)

Monday
Jun172013

B. Chuck: The Offensive Red Sox Season

With all the talk about the effect that John Farrell's return to the Red Sox would have on the Boston pitching staff, so far it's been highly over-rated.

The Sox are seventh in the league with a team ERA of 3.84. Their starters are fourth in the league with a 3.79 ERA and their bullpen is 11th in the AL with a 3.94 ERA.

The key to the success of the Red Sox this season have been their bats and credit for that certainly needs to go to hitting coach Gregg Colbrunn and his assistant, Victor Rodriguez (and very high marks to GM Ben Cherington who has put together a terrific assortment of "chemists").

Serious Offense

  • The Red Sox lead the majors 363 runs scored.
  • They are tied with the Orioles with 155 doubles, the most in the majors.
  • They are tied with the Rays and Indians with 80 homers, the sixth most in the majors.
  • They are second to the A's, 277 to 273 walks.
  • They are second to the Padres, 61 to 57 steals.
  • They are second to the Cards, 205 to 184 hits with runners in scoring position.
  • They are tied for second in the AL with the A's with bases loaded hits, but lead the majors with 66 bases loaded RBI.
  • The Sox are tied with the Tigers for the league lead with a .285 June batting average.
  • They lead the AL 156 June hits, 13 more than the A's who are in second place.
  • They lead the AL with 23 June homers
  • They lead the AL with 88 RBI, 28 more than the Jays who are second with 60 ribbies.

The Individual Plusses

One of the other keys to the Red Sox offensive success is the variety of players who have been hot at different times throughout the season.

 

  • For example, while the Sox and the Phillies only have four homers each from the number three slot in the batting order, the fewest in baseball, the Sox have Dustin Pedroia who's hitting .319, the best of any #3 in the AL not named Miguel Cabrera.
  • And they have David Ortiz who has driven home 14 runs in June, the most in the AL, despite a .220 batting average.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury, in his walk year, has been running. He's tied with Everth Cabrera for the MLB lead with 31 steals and tied with Mike Trout for the AL lead in triples with six.
  • Mike Napoli has been an RBI machine providing clutch hits, particularly in the early going.
  • Don't forget the great fielding Jose Iglesias who has a 17-game hitting streak, the longest for any rookie this season, and is hitting .438 in 99 PA this season.
  • Daniel Nava is one of the great "who's thats?" of this season, but is deserving of some AL All-Star write-in votes. Nava is hitting .288 on the season and his 44 RBI are third on the team to Ortiz' and Napoli's 49, but 24 of the RBI have come from the 7th inning on and Nava leads the majors in that category. His 38 RBI as an outfielder puts him eight among all MLB outfielders. And, his .378 OBP ranks 10th among all outfielders (he has a .383 OBP overall).
  • Mike Carp has hit eight homers in 105 AB and is slugging .686 to go with his .324 BA.
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia is hitting .271 overall and improving behind the plate and the switch-hitter is hitting .303 as a lefty.

 

So, through an assortment of pieces the Red Sox have put together three strong first months of the season.

But is that enough to get them through the year?

Tomorrow, I look at the minuses of the Boston ball club, starting with the starting pitching.

Saturday
Nov102012

Pull-Happy Ross Heads to Fenway

The Boston Red Sox have signed David Ross to a two-year, $6.2 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Ross, 35, has succeeded Gregg Zaun as the game's Practically Perfect Backup Catcher, batting .267/.345/.450 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 512 plate appearances over the past three seasons. With a pull-happy approach, Ross should add plenty of dents to the Green Monster over the next couple of years.

Ross has pulled about 47% of the pitches that he has put in play since 2010, and he has slugged .769 when ripping a pitch down the left field line. That's 181 points above the MLB average for right-handed hitters over that time frame. Not surprisingly, Ross is adept at turning on inside pitches, particularly low-and-inside stuff:

Ross' slugging percentage by pitch location, 2010-12

Ross has slugged .569 against inside pitches over the past three years, placing him between Paul Konerko and Matt Kemp among righty batters (minimum 500 total PA).

Ross has shown something of a reverse platoon split in recent seasons (266/.333/.420 against lefties, and .266/.355/.475 versus righties), but his signing gives the Sox a chance to sit Jarrod Saltalamacchia against some of the league's tougher lefties. The switch-hitting Salty holds his own against righties (.236/.301/.478 since 2010), but the David Prices and CC Sabathias of the world have haunted his dreams (.192/.251/.346 against lefties). Ryan Lavarnway, who has hit bombs in Triple-A over the past two years (.295/.382/.511) but bombed in Boston (.172/.230/.286), also gets the chance to work the kinks out with the PawSox.

Thursday
Sep132012

Salty is “Just shy”

Jarrod Saltalamacchia homers against the Yanks last night. Photo by Bill Chuck

 

This is my Jarrod Saltalamacchia and my complaint about "just shy cycles" column for the day.

Salty is a batter with very mixed results hitting just .232 even after his 3-3 night last, but he has slammed 24 homers.

Here is what Saltalamacchia looks like hitting this season:

You can see where Salty's strength primarily resides as batter by looking at the largest red area.

It should then come as no surprise that that area is where the specious Yankee pitching threw last night:

This season, there have been four cycles, two by Aaron Hill:

RkPlayerDateTmOppRsltPAAB1BRH2B3BHR
1 Adrian Beltre 2012-08-24 TEX MIN W 8-0 4 4 1 1 4 1 1 1
2 Aaron Hill 2012-06-29 ARI MIL W 9-3 5 5 1 2 4 1 1 1
3 Aaron Hill 2012-06-18 ARI SEA W 7-1 4 4 1 3 4 1 1 1
4 Scott Hairston 2012-04-27 NYM COL L 9-18 5 5 1 3 4 1 1 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

This has been a banner year for cycles as we can see from the yearly totals since 2000:

RkYear#    
1 2009 8 Ind. Games
       
2 2004 6 Ind. Games
       
3 2008 5 Ind. Games
4 2006 5 Ind. Games
5 2001 5 Ind. Games
6 2000 5 Ind. Games
       
7 2012 4 Ind. Games
8 2010 4 Ind. Games
9 2003 4 Ind. Games
       
10 2007 3 Ind. Games
11 2005 3 Ind. Games
       
12 2011 2 Ind. Games
13 2002 2 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

The 2009 season was a record for the most in a season since 1918, tying it with the eight hit in 1933.

One of my vexations is when reporters refer to a batter who hits a single, double and homer as being "just shy" of the cycle. This has happened 223 times this season, including last night by Alfonso Soriano.

In fact, take a look at the 15 times the "just shy of a triple" cycle has been done this month:

RkPlayerDateTmOppRsltAB1BRH2B3BHR
1 Alfonso Soriano 2012-09-12 CHC HOU W 5-1 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
2 J.J. Hardy 2012-09-11 BAL TBR W 9-2 5 1 3 4 1 0 2
3 Kyle Seager 2012-09-11 SEA TOR W 4-3 5 1 2 3 1 0 1
4 Eric Hosmer 2012-09-11 KCR MIN W 9-1 5 1 3 3 1 0 1
5 Cameron Maybin 2012-09-10 SDP STL W 11-3 4 1 3 3 1 0 1
6 Carlos Santana 2012-09-09 CLE MIN L 7-8 5 1 2 3 1 0 1
7 Curtis Granderson 2012-09-09 NYY BAL W 13-3 3 1 1 3 1 0 1
8 Brian McCann 2012-09-08 ATL NYM W 11-3 5 2 3 4 1 0 1
9 Aramis Ramirez 2012-09-08 MIL STL W 6-3 3 1 2 3 1 0 1
10 Aaron Hill 2012-09-04 ARI SFG W 8-6 5 3 3 5 1 0 1
11 Chris Iannetta 2012-09-03 LAA OAK W 8-3 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
12 Stephen Drew 2012-09-02 OAK BOS W 6-2 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
13 Coco Crisp 2012-09-01 OAK BOS W 7-1 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
14 Adrian Beltre 2012-09-01 TEX CLE L 3-4 4 1 1 3 1 0 1
15 David Freese 2012-09-01 STL WSN W 10-9 5 1 2 3 1 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

This is not an infrequent event in any year.

Take a look at the number of "just shy of a triple" cycles each year since 2000:

RkYear#    
1 2001 303 Ind. Games
       
2 2000 301 Ind. Games
       
3 2003 295 Ind. Games
       
4 2007 292 Ind. Games
       
5 2006 284 Ind. Games
       
6 2009 275 Ind. Games
       
7 2005 274 Ind. Games
       
8 2008 266 Ind. Games
9 2004 266 Ind. Games
       
10 2002 260 Ind. Games
       
11 2011 228 Ind. Games
       
12 2010 225 Ind. Games
       
13 2012 223 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

"Just shy of a double" cycles are a much rarer event:

RkYear#    
1 2009 41 Ind. Games
       
2 2007 36 Ind. Games
       
3 2008 33 Ind. Games
       
4 2010 31 Ind. Games
5 2001 31 Ind. Games
       
6 2000 29 Ind. Games
       
7 2004 28 Ind. Games
       
8 2006 27 Ind. Games
       
9 2002 25 Ind. Games
       
10 2005 24 Ind. Games
       
11 2003 22 Ind. Games
       
12 2011 21 Ind. Games
       
13 2012 18 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

"Just shy of a homer" cycles are more frequent than doubles, but nowhere near as frequent as "shy of triple" cycles:

RkYear#     
1 2004 67 Ind. Games
       
2 2006 66 Ind. Games
       
3 2002 65 Ind. Games
       
4 2000 63 Ind. Games
       
5 2009 61 Ind. Games
       
6 2005 60 Ind. Games
7 2003 60 Ind. Games
       
8 2008 55 Ind. Games
       
9 2007 52 Ind. Games
       
10 2010 51 Ind. Games
       
11 2012 50 Ind. Games
12 2001 50 Ind. Games
       
13 2011 47 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

This brings us to the Jarrod Saltalamacchia game last night against the Yankees in which he hit a double, triple, and homer (and walked).

This season batters have hit "just shy of a single" cycle just 13 times:

RkPlayerDateTmOppRsltAB1BRH2B3BHRRBI
1 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2012-09-12 BOS NYY L 4-5 3 0 2 3 1 1 1 1
2 Adrian Beltre 2012-08-24 TEX MIN W 8-0 4 1 1 4 1 1 1 3
3 Ryan Braun 2012-08-22 MIL CHC W 3-2 4 0 2 3 1 1 1 2
4 Andres Torres 2012-08-09 NYM MIA W 6-1 3 0 2 3 1 1 1 3
5 Billy Butler 2012-08-09 KCR BAL W 8-2 5 0 3 3 1 1 1 3
6 Chris Johnson 2012-07-27 HOU PIT L 5-6 4 0 2 3 1 1 1 1
7 Aaron Hill 2012-06-29 ARI MIL W 9-3 5 1 2 4 1 1 1 3
8 Paul Goldschmidt 2012-06-23 ARI CHC W 10-5 5 0 3 3 1 1 1 2
9 Aaron Hill 2012-06-18 ARI SEA W 7-1 4 1 3 4 1 1 1 1
10 Mark Trumbo 2012-05-28 LAA NYY W 9-8 5 0 3 3 1 1 1 2
11 Carlos Beltran 2012-05-11 STL ATL L 7-9 5 0 2 4 1 1 2 4
12 Scott Hairston 2012-04-27 NYM COL L 9-18 5 1 3 4 1 1 1 4
13 Omar Infante 2012-04-07 MIA CIN W 8-3 5 0 2 3 1 1 1 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

That makes this event even rarer than a batter hitting a "just shy of a triple" cycle.

And here's how frequently the "just shy of a single" cycle has been hit each season since 2000:

RkYear#   
1 2000 18 Ind. Games
       
2 2009 15 Ind. Games
3 2006 15 Ind. Games
       
4 2007 14 Ind. Games
5 2001 14 Ind. Games
       
6 2012 13 Ind. Games
7 2011 13 Ind. Games
       
8 2008 11 Ind. Games
9 2004 11 Ind. Games
       
10 2003 10 Ind. Games
       
11 2005 9 Ind. Games
       
12 2010 8 Ind. Games
       
13 2002 6 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

Here are the top five seasons since 1918 of batters who were just shy of a cycle by not hitting a single, the only time we should use "just shy" when talking about a cycle:

RkYear#   
1 2000 18 Ind. Games
       
2 2009 15 Ind. Games
3 2006 15 Ind. Games
4 1988 15 Ind. Games
5 1929 15 Ind. Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/13/2012.

Thank you, Jarrod.