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Thursday, August 18, 2005

A RANDOM COLLECTION OF NOTES
  • Is there any way we contract the Blue Jays?

  • Orlando Cabrera was moved to the two-spot on July 29th. He entered play that day with an AVG/OBP/SLG line of 247/298/347.

    About three weeks have passed, and The OC has played 18 games in that spot. Entering play today, his line is 252/305/350. He has gone 21 for 77 in that time (.273) with 7 walks (.333 OBP) and five extra-base hits (.364 SLG).

    Meanwhile, Adam Kennedy entered the 29th with a line of 331/377/397. Today, he sits at 334/387/405. In that period, he has played 17 games, going 20-57 (.351) with 5 walks (.403 OBP) and three extra-base hits (.439 SLG).

    Just using a very basic estimate of runs created (OBP x SLG x AB), that means Cabrera has created roughly 9 runs in that period, and Adam has created 10. But note that Cabrera has 20 more AB than Adam; if you give Kennedy The OC's at-bats, he'd be up to nearly 14 runs, and The OC in the nine spot hitting that way would be around 7 runs.

    In case you think basestealing might be a factor, Kennedy is perfect in five attempts over that period, and Cabrera has been successful three out of five times. So while Kennedy gets an extra run for stealing bases, Cabrera actually loses a little bit.

    Now, we of course can't assume that these guys would have hit the same had they been in the other spot in the batting order, but it's incredibly obvious that Kennedy has been a better hitter all year. Actually, let me take that back: Kennedy has been a better hitter than The OC for three of the last four seasons (including this year).

    And, over the last 18 games, there's a decent chance that having The OC in a spot where he gets 20 more at-bats than Kennedy does has cost the team roughly seven runs. You think the Angels could have taken seven runs in those 18 games?

  • Boston is on their way to town, and they're a tough customer. I feel pretty good about The Big Mango taking on Tim Wakefield tonight, despite the fact that Bartolo has been bashed around by the Sox the last two seasons (a 6.10 ERA in 20 2/3 innings). I think we've got a pretty good shot with John Lackey taking on Matt Clement tomorrow night -- Clement has had only two good starts since July 1, and both against the scuffling Rangers.

    I worry about Saturday -- Ervin Santana has struggled in day games (0-4 with an 11.34 ERA against 6-1, 2.79 under electric candlelight) -- and Sunday, where we face a rookie (Jon Papelbon), and the Angels never seem to do well against rookies.

    We're getting to the point of the season where every series is becoming a big series, so the Angels need to right the ship after the ridiculous Toronto series. It's up to Bartolo, our alleged ace, to set the tone tonight.

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