I’m a little under the weather at the moment; what better time to curl up with a netbook and look at a ton of stats?
For this exercise – as I sit in my pajamas watching the Mariners down 2-0 in the 7th against the Indians – I’ll be looking primarily at Batting Average in the months of March/April. And primarily at the starters (or, at least those who are starting now).
Ichiro – Probably the guy most famous for his slow Aprils. That’s a little tough, because you’re talking about a guy who’s batting .298 in that time. But, you’re ALSO talking about a guy with an average well over .300 in every other month (including his best month, May, where he bats .363). So, look for him to hover in the mid-to-upper .200’s, then to turn it on when the calendar page flips.
Langerhans/Saunders – This is impossible to gauge, as combined they’ve played less than 50 games, so I’m not even going to get into them. However, if Guti was here and healthy, you’d CERTAINLY see more production out of your center field spot in the order (career .283, by far his best month; so I figure it’ll be gangbusters when he comes back to the team).
Bradley – In his career, April has actually been one of his BETTER months (.273). We’re kind of seeing that thus far (though the month is young), but he was a LONG way off last year for us, batting .211. Milton has always struck me as a streaky hitter and a guy who plays with his heart on his sleeve. When things are going good for him, they tend to continue; until they stop going good, then they fester. He hasn’t started festering yet, but we’ll see how the next three weeks go.
Olivo – This guy has been known to start poorly (.232 in April) and finish poorly (.229 in Sept/Oct). That isn’t to say he’s all that great in between, but you’re looking at upwards of a 40-point swing. He’s been pretty steady thus far in 2011, so I don’t know what to tell you. If he keeps this up and still posts an above-average May as he’s traditionally done, we might actually get some production out of this cat!
Smoak – Again, this is another guy with not enough games under his belt to factor in this discussion. He seems to be doing okay so far though.
Kennedy – Here’s a guy who’s been known to do fairly well in April, with a .278 average. Maybe this whole Jack Wilson fiasco was a blessing in disguise.
Ryan – Well, here’s a pisspoor April guy; doesn’t look like he gets out of bed until August, but his Aprils are particularly brutal with a .213 average. So, I guess we can’t say his sub-.200 start to 2011 is really much of a surprise.
Figgins – Our third baseman is a bad April guy and an even worse May guy (.266 and .249 respectively). So, we probably shouldn’t be TOO concerned with this 0 for 25 stretch he’s been mired in this first week. Nevertheless, there’s always the concern that he’s too old to hit his way out of it. Right now, he looks like a skinnier version of Jose Vidro circa 2008.
Cust – One more time for the Worst April Batters! Try .214 on for size. Last night, when he was up to bat, a fan behind me told his buddy that Cust is the best free agent signing we’ve had since Richie Sexson. I had a good laugh at that one. On the plus side, his average should skyrocket 44 points next month.
So, what have we learned? In a month where we have arguably our softest schedule, we also have our hitters playing their worst. Hitters who are already pretty bad to begin with. Yikes.
After last night, this team was batting .226. We’ve got 4 guys batting under .200, with Cust right at that mark. Others, like Olivo, Bradley, and when he was alive Jack Wilson, have done fairly well. But, it’s tough when no one’s getting on base for them to hit in. Ichiro’s still Ichiro and I’m never going to worry about him. Smoak has been a pleasant surprise thus far – especially with his doubles hitting – so let’s hope he can keep it up.