A Smorgasbord Monday
News, notes, and stats from around the major leagues while doing my best to avoid the buzzing sound of the vuvuzelas at the World Cup games over the weekend.
AVG OBP SLG OPS BC .316 .379 .645 1.024 AC .243 .304 .395 .700
Coincidence? Small sample sizes? Hurt feelings? Or a combination? You pick your poison.
While Kemp didn't deserve the Gold Glove he "won" last year, the center fielder wasn't nearly as bad as he has been this campaign. According to Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), Kemp ranks last among all CF with -15.7, which works out to -42.3 per 150 games (or about four losses more than an average fielder at that position). His baserunning has also been dismal with 9 SB, 9 CS, 2 PO (pick-offs), and 3 other outs on the bases.
Kemp will almost assuredly be moved to a corner outfield position after Manny Ramirez exits Los Angeles, but it is also possible that he could be traded during the offseason.
For his part, the 36-year-old Blake is hitting .258/.333/.442 while making $6 million (compared to the pro rated minimum that Santana will earn this year and not much more than the $500,000 he will be paid over each of the next three seasons — unless, of course, he agrees to a longer-term deal that buys out a year to two of free agency at a discounted price).
The most remarkable stat of all might be that the injury-plagued Glaus leads the league in games played with 64. With each passing day, he looks more and more like one of the best free-agent signings last offseason. He inked a contract for $1.75 million with bonuses that equal an additional $2.25 million for a maximum payout of $4M. Although Glaus ranks as the worst-fielding first baseman in the majors according to UZR, he has been worth over $5 million thus far using Fangraphs' Wins Above Replacement (WAR) converted to a dollar scale based on what a player would make in free agency.
Gregerson, who combines a 91-mph fastball with one of the best sliders in baseball (an MLB-best 10.4 runs above average among RP), may be the best-kept secret in the game and one of the main reasons why the Padres sit atop the NL West with a 37-26 record.
While Rodriguez's major league stats are in stark contrast to his minor league results (5.03 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 6.1 K/9, and 4.4 BB/9 in 499 IP), he has pitched much better since being converted to a full-time reliever in 2008. Nonetheless, his performance in the majors has defied all reasonable expectations. Small sample size for sure but take a look at his stuff for yourself if and when you get the chance. He throws a heavy 94-95 mph fastball, an 89-mph cutter, and an occasional curveball that has generated a lot of swinging strikes (18.9%) and 11 groundballs out of the 15 batted balls in play.