Friday, April 23, 2010

The Sporting News: Worried about Lee, not so much about Pence

The Sporting News has a look at some slow starters in baseball. Of course your Astros are represented.

Carlos Lee:
Veteran slugger is striking out a little more and walking less than usual and he's been unlucky, with a .167 BABIP, but he also has no power and is missing the ball more often. The return of Lance Berkman could help provide Lee some protection in the Astros lineup, but it's fair to wonder if the 33-year-old has actually lost some of his bat speed.

Hunter Pence:
Pence has been unlucky, with a .191 BABIP, but his contact rates are also the highest of his career, while his walk rate is shockingly low. He's a relatively free swinger anyway, but Pence can probably snap out of this -- and he's showing signs already -- with his typical level of plate discipline.


Peanut said...

Oh, for heaven's sake. Pence hasn't been unlucky. He's seeing the results of a terrible approach. He's hacking at every pitch with the same damn swing, and he's getting the same result every time: easy grounders to the left side. Easy grounders to the left side turn into outs (and a low BABIP). I don't see luck anywhere in that recipe. If his results change, it will be because he made the right adjustments.

Reuben said...

agree 100%. This is the major flaw, as I understand it, in BABIP. Hitters who flail at low-and-away sliders will hit dinky grounders, and get thrown out at first. Pitchers who fool hitters into swinging at "their" pitch - sliders, cutters, whatever- will have a low BABIP against. It's not always a matter of luck.