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Entries in Matt Kemp (14)


The Dodgers (and others) struggles with runners in scoring position

In today's Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo writes extensively about the Dodgers troubles hitting with runners in scoring position.

Cafardo points out that the Dodgers entered the weekend ranked fifth in batting average (.255), and second in on-base percentage (.330) in the NL, but 14th in slugging and 11th in OPS. With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers are hitting .213, 13th in the NL.

They’re also 12th in OBP, 15th in slugging, and 14th in OPS in the NL with runners in scoring position.

“The key for us is execution,” Dodger GM Ned Colletti told Cafardo. “We’re getting runners on base but we just can’t seem to get that one hit at the right time.”

The Dodgers are just one of the teams struggling when hitting with RISP.


The major league average for hitting w/RISP this season is .255.

Their American League neighbors, the Angels, are equally awful also hit .223. Then again neither of these two teams' fan base should be complaining as much as those who follow the residents of "the friendly confines." The Cubs are the only team in baseball hitting under .200 with runners in scoring position. And their Second City neighbors, the White Sox are only hitting .221.

The Marlins, Mariners, Jays and Diamondbacks are all under .220 in their miserable displays of hitting when it matters.

15 players whose career average with runners in scoring position fall below .255

(at least 2000 PA w/RISP)

Rk I Player From To G BA PA AB H RBI
1   Adam Dunn 2001 2013 1268 .222 2044 1542 342 607
2   Tom Brunansky 1981 1994 1232 .239 2023 1676 400 632
3   Dave Kingman 1971 1986 1302 .240 2066 1774 425 771
4   Royce Clayton 1991 2007 1374 .243 2133 1808 440 598
5   Lance Parrish 1977 1995 1396 .244 2244 1954 477 692
6 I Jim Wynn 1963 1977 1334 .245 2201 1704 418 638
7   Bobby Grich 1970 1986 1368 .248 2169 1712 425 609
8   Andruw Jones 1996 2012 1585 .249 2632 2154 537 824
9   Darrell Porter 1971 1987 1238 .251 2000 1550 389 623
10   Graig Nettles 1968 1988 1781 .252 2689 2218 560 886
11   Chris Speier 1971 1989 1409 .252 2153 1745 439 576
12 I Darrell Evans 1969 1989 1825 .253 2919 2242 568 895
13   Ron Gant 1987 2003 1285 .254 2040 1680 427 674
14 I Bill Mazeroski 1956 1972 1354 .254 2113 1806 459 641
15   Benito Santiago 1986 2005 1339 .254 2125 1841 467 696
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/12/2013.

There are 121 batters who this season have to the plate at least 20 times with runners in scoring position who are hitting under .255, 56 of them are under .200.

Here are the 25 under .150

Rk Player BA PA AB H RBI
1 Eduardo Nunez .000 24 16 0 4
2 Luis Cruz .038 29 26 1 2
3 Dan Uggla .050 26 20 1 4
4 Ryan Flaherty .050 25 20 1 3
5 Darwin Barney .063 23 16 1 1
6 Martin Prado .063 37 32 2 4
7 Nolan Reimold .067 22 15 1 4
8 B.J. Upton .083 33 24 2 3
9 Rickie Weeks .088 45 34 3 8
10 Nick Hundley .091 27 22 2 7
11 Mike Moustakas .091 30 22 2 4
12 Miguel Montero .095 36 21 2 10
13 Alex Avila .103 32 29 3 3
14 Josh Hamilton .103 36 29 3 6
15 Mike Morse .108 41 37 4 7
16 Chris Iannetta .118 29 17 2 6
17 Eric Sogard .125 28 24 3 3
18 Maicer Izturis .130 25 23 3 3
19 Ike Davis .133 36 30 4 6
20 Tyler Flowers .136 23 22 3 8
21 Skip Schumaker .136 27 22 3 4
22 Cliff Pennington .136 30 22 3 8
23 Will Middlebrooks .138 33 29 4 9
24 Justin Smoak .148 35 27 4 5
25 Chris Parmelee .148 31 27 4 5
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/12/2013.

The Dodgers individual batters with runners in scoring position.

Fans certainly can have no complaints with Adrian Gonzalez or Mark Ellis.

But Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are very different stories.

Rk Player BA PA AB H RBI
1 Mark Ellis .545 14 11 6 10
2 Adrian Gonzalez .500 38 28 14 23
3 Juan Uribe .273 17 11 3 4
4 Carl Crawford .269 31 26 7 3
5 Nick Punto .250 15 12 3 4
6 A.J. Ellis .241 37 29 7 7
7 Justin Sellers .231 15 13 3 1
8 Andre Ethier .200 40 35 7 8
9 Matt Kemp .171 44 35 6 11
10 Skip Schumaker .136 27 22 3 4
11 Jerry Hairston .071 16 14 1 3
12 Luis Cruz .038 29 26 1 2
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/12/2013.

It appears, that even when the Dodgers recover from their injuries, if they don't recover their hitting stroke with runners in scoring position, this season will continue to be ugly.


Ortiz layoff cause big worry plus more

"We’ll get to our opinion on David Ortiz in a minute, but first, the facts:

• Ortiz injured his Achilles on July 16 while rounding the bases on an Adrian Gonzalez home run.

• He played once thereafter, but reinjured the same foot while going 2-for-4 on Aug. 24.

• Until last week, he hadn’t been able to sprint for six months.

• He tried to run the bases yesterday, but decided against it because of soreness. He’ll try again this morning."


Trout takes high road

"To all of Mike Trout's exceptional talents, add this one: political correctness.

A day after Trout's agent fired off a missive in which he said the Angels star was disappointed not only at his contract but at being moved from center field to left, Trout addressed the situation with the careful words of a politician.

"I'm a center fielder, obviously," Trout said Sunday. "My main position is center field, but if you're an outfielder, you should be able to play all three. I think it's going to help me get reads off the bat. It's going to be a fun adjustment for me."

Asked to characterize his feelings on the move, Trout would not bite at the words "angry" or "disappointed."

"I'm just happy to be in the lineup," he said."


Adrian Beltre makes spring debut

 Adrian Beltre made his spring debut Monday and finished 1-for-3 with a double in the Rangers' 5-4 victory the San Diego Padres.

"I didn't want to make two outs but I feel okay," Beltre said. "Better than I thought."

Beltre reached on a two-base fielding error in his second at-bat and grounded out to short in his final at-bat before leaving the game in the fifth inning. He said he hopes to return to the Rangers lineup when they play the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

"Everything went well," manager Ron Washington said. "I think everyone knows Adrian is pretty good, so nothing he does out there at third base surprises me. He looked ready to play."


R.A Dickey to start vs Mexico

"Team USA gathered on Monday at Salt River Fields for its first practice in anticipation of the World Baseball Classic opener on Friday.

And manager Joe Torre said his starting pitching is aligned for the three Pool D games at Chase Field, with Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey tabbed to face rival Mexico on Friday at Chase Field (9 p.m. ET, MLB Network and ESPN Deportes). It's the third edition of the Classic, and the U.S. is trying to win it for the first time. Japan was the victor in 2006 and '09.

Later, after the media conference, Torre acknowledged that Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong is slated to start Saturday night against Italy, with Rangers left-hander Derek Holland on the mound Sunday vs. Canada and its bevy of left-hander hitters. Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler is also available to face the Canadians. Torre said Gio Gonzalez, another Nationals left-hander, will be not be available this weekend."


Furcal to be examined

"The next time the Cardinals take the field, Rafael Furcal won’t be with them.

After an off-day Tuesday, the Cardinals will resume Grapefruit League play on Wednesday but Furcal is expected to be getting a second opinion on his ailing right elbow that day.

“We’ll probably have him see Dr. (James) Andrews on Wednesday,” said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak on Monday evening. Andrews, a noted orthopedist, has offices both in Pensacola, Fla., and in Birmingham, Ala., so the site of Furcal’s visit is open although it likely will be Pensacola. Mozeliak said he had worked out most the details with Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer."


Garza could miss first month of season

"Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza experienced tightness in his side while rehabbing and will start the season on the disabled list, manager Dale Sveum said Sunday.

“It’s a minor setback that (he) could wind up missing two weeks to a month," he said. “Now you’re looking at him getting two (Cactus League) starts at the most.”

Garza wasn't too upset, after saying this week he did not plan to rush back just be ready for opening week."


Kemp says at bat timing "weird"

"Matt Kemp almost had it.

In his fourth at-bat of spring training, Kemp worked deep into the count against Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber, saw a ball he liked and sent it screaming toward the gap in right-center field.

Roughly 400 feet from home plate, the ball fell into the glove of center fielder Michael Bourn.

It was the best at-bat of the spring for Kemp, who also struck out and grounded out in three plate appearances Sunday.

"My timing's a little weird," he said. "Every at-bat's a step forward."




HR Derby Tidbits: NL Edition

Team Cano (Jose Bautista, Robinson Cano, Prince Fielder, Mark Trumbo) takes on Team Kemp (Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and Andrew McCutchen) tonight at Kauffman Stadium in the 2012 Home Run Derby (8 PM EST, ESPN). While the Royals' home digs aren't particularly friendly to power hitters during regular games, decreasing homers hits by 27 percent for lefties and 15 percent for righties according to StatCorner, these guys should have little trouble reaching the waterfalls beyond the outfield fences. Here's a closer look at the shots hit by Team Kemp in 2012.

Carlos Beltran

Home Runs: 20

The switch-hitting Beltran, returning to spot where he gracefully roamed the bases and outfield from 198-2004, hasn't yet decided which side he'll swing from tonight. StatCorner's park factors suggest slugging righty would be better, though Beltran has crushed it from both sides this season (.520 slugging percentage and five homers as a right-handed hitter, .550 slugging and 15 HR as a lefty). Beltran might want his BP pitcher to speed it up tonight, as he has hit 14 of his 20 homers against "hard" pitches (fastballs, sinkers and cutters).

Pitch location of Beltran's HRs

Carlos Gonzalez

Home Runs: 17

CarGo doesn't fit the "pull everything in sight" power hitter archetype, hitting eight of his home runs to center field in 2012.  He's extremely adept at clearing the fence on pitches thrown to the outside portion of the plate:

Pitch location of Gonzalez's HRs

Thirteen of his 17 homers have come on pitches thrown away. Gonzalez's middle field power might not serve him especially well at Kauffman Stadium, however, considering that the center field fence is 410 feet from home plate and the power allies are 387 feet.

Matt Kemp

Home Runs: 12

Kemp, on the DL twice this season for left hamstring trouble and making his first appearance on a big league field since late May,  nonetheless ranks in the top 20 among MLB hitters with nine home runs cracked against fastballs. He has spread his homers around, too, going oppo seven times, hitting four to center field and pulling just one ball over the fence this season. He hit seven opposite-field home runs total in 2011.

Pitch location of Kemp's HRs

Andrew McCutchen

Home Runs: 18

'Cutch has made a habit of providing souvenirs for bleacher creatures in all parts of the park this season, blasting six home runs to the opposite field, four to center and eight to the pull side. He has done most of that damage against fastballs, with 13 of his 18 home runs coming against the heat. Pitchers have thrown McCutchen a heater in the strike zone nearly 57 percent of the time despite his fastball mastery, well above the 51-52 percent league average.

Pitch location of McCutchen's HRs