Thursday, December 3, 2009

Zach Levine blinds us with science

Or math. Whatever. Levine's new blog post details the problem of OPS among Astros 3Bs - namely, it was .664, 14th in the NL. Only St. Louis (.661) and Florida (.629) were worse.

Blum struggled after having an outstanding 2008 against right-handed pitching and became primarily responsible for the 14th place finish in the chart at the top. The Astros would need a bounceback (from Blum) even to have a true platoon with Chris Johnson to come out anywhere near average.

Johnson hit .281/.323/.461 in Class AAA last year and finally saw a reversal of his minor league career reverse split. He had an OPS 123 points higher against lefties than against righties, meaning he'd be a decent platoon candidate with Blum whom the Astros tried hard to keep away from left-handed pitching.

If Tejada commands something on the high side of the mid-seven figures, the prudent move might be to spend the money to replace the question mark at the end of their pitching rotation. But no matter which direction they go including external free agent, the production from the third base position looms as a huge mystery facing the 2010 Astros.