Elbo: Happy, come home 

Oh, how nice it would've been to end Gagne's streak last night. How wonderful it would've been to get Schmidt a win even if he didn't have his best stuff. Sadly, we will have to regard this series, where we've dropped two of three, as an extension of the last Dodger series, so we can say we took five out of seven. That's all right, isn't it? We've still won fourteen out of eighteen games overall. Bring on the A's, and their dinged-up rotation.

What compels me to wallow in negativity today? (Apart from the fact that the regular El Lefty is on vacation?) One of my pet topics, of course. June has come to a close, and Pedro Feliz has posted the following numbers for the month:

108 17 25 5 15 8 18 .231 .284 .463 .747

This was not necessarily Pedro's worst month of the season. In April, he hit .290 but slugged only .406, with just two homers. May was easily his best: .840 OPS, buoyed by six longballs.

Now, Pedro has won the hearts of Giant fans with some timely homers and key base hits. They love him down at Hockey Haven. Some of those folks still -- still! -- think he should start at third instead of Alfonzo. So why do I continue dismiss Pedro? Low OBP, obviously, is a major factor. The fact that he has walked 37 times in his ENTIRE CAREER, while swinging at pitches that are so far outside they could be strikes in the Junior Giants field. Because his k/bb ratio has actually gotten worse over the years. Because there is nobody over 29 in the big leagues with plate judgment that bad.

But this year, for a little while there, I thought Pedro would prove me wrong. He suddenly started walking, even taking a BB twice in a game once, and seemed downright patient against AL pitching. He showed the versatility to start at shortstop. I figured, compared to the NL's weak lot of shortstops, he's got to be worthwhile, right?

Actually, it's the same old story there. He outslugs most of the regulars -- only Jack Wilson and his .500 SLG is better -- but lags behind everyone but Alex Gonzalez (Florida edition) and Alex Cintron in OBP. Even Royce Clayton, with his freakish home/road splits, hasn't managed to slug like Pedro, but as wretched as he is, his OBP is 50 points higher than Feliz's. Among third basemen, Pedro basically ranks down there with Ty Wigginton and Shea Hillenbrand. Among first basemen... well, you don't want to know, though I was surprised to learn that he's outslugging Jeff Bagwell.

While suggesting in a horrified fit last November that the Giants pursue someone like Travis Lee to play 1B, I prognosticated that Pedro is "good for .240/.285/.450 at best, as an everyday player." I've spent much of the year pleasantly surprised by his .300+ BA. Now, however, Pedro has begun to regress to his old average self. He hasn't walked in two weeks. He has one homer in that time. His OPS is down 87 points from its peak. Is .240/.285/.450 a possibility after all? You bet it is.

You know, as I watched the Dodgers, I saw someone who came up in that same Pedro rant back in November. It's Jose Hernandez, who also hits some homers sometimes, and also strikes out four or five times for every walk he draws. They have a lot in common, if you look at their numbers through age 28. And since Hernandez was Pedro's age, he's played for seven teams in six years (counting two stints with the Cubs). Which means that even if you can hit 25 homers a year and play shortstop, if you haven't figured out what's a ball and what's a strike, your team is still probably going to give up on you sooner or later.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com