Nationals Baseball: The Pudge you signed up for

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Pudge you signed up for

From Opening Day until May 10th, Pudge might have been the hottest hitter in baesball. He hit .393 / .417 / .528. This was unexpected considering Pudge hadn't cracked .300 since 2006, he had seen his batting average decline from .300 to .281 to .276 to .249 the past 4 years, he had gotten older turning 38 in November of last year, and he was still playing the most physically demanding position on the field. All signs pointed to maybe one last year of low .200s batting and a nice little retirement package that he could look over for 5 years until he went to Cooperstown. Instead here he was slapping singles like nobody's business all over the National League. Could this be a Pudge resurgence? One last season of great play made possible by extra conditioning, or a new attitude, or providence?


Since May 10th Pudge has hit .214 /.245 /.265. Prior to that Pudge's balls were finding everyhole (BABIP in the high .300s), but as the season has worn on that has evened out a bit and there is still some ways to go.

Of course Rodriguez's worth is not simply tied into his batting. He's still good behind the plate and the Nats still have nothing healthy in the wings to even come close to threatening taking his spot. They needed someone who could catch and be better than Wil Nieves, and they got it. But this is the Pudge the Nats signed to a 2 year deal for eleventy million dollars. A guy that can fill the position on the field, but at the plate is far past his prime and as an everyday player only offers another hole in a Nats lineup that has too many already.


Kevin Trainor said...

You're right, Pudge at this point has regressed to his projected offensive numbers, and I don't think any reasonable person ever expected him to do anything different. I think that if Flores hadn't screwed up his shoulder again we'd have a better situation behind the plate, but he did and we don't. I'm more disappointed that the intangibles he allegedly brought to the team when he was hitting well have somehow evaporated along with this OPS.

Post linked at Beltway Baseball.

Bryan said...

Two things: Bos said a while back that this team "wants" to win, and thus it is. Or it takes winning seriously. Or something like that. Is it the case that the team no longer has that attitude?

Secondly: Can we still trade Pudge?

Harper said...

Kevin - Isn't that surprising? If only some scientist could solve the riddle of the one to one relationship between good play and veteran leadership maybe we could finally understand baseball.

Bryan -There was a giant accident in the ballpark concession stands in mid May where the entire team was hit in the head with frying pans and changed from scrappy red-asses to primadonnas. Surprised that it didn't make the papers.

The Nats can trade Pudge - would you like Raul Ibanez or Carlos Lee in return?

Orakpwned said...

It's not just him, the entire offense is slacking. Until yesterday, I hadn't seen a team actually working together in awhile.