Tuesday, December 15, 2009
WAS JASON BAY THE PROBLEM WITH THE OFFENSE?
I like Jason Bay. I'm a Jason Bay fan. When a player you hate gets traded (Manny), and his replacement has any measure of success, you're bound to have a new favorite on the team. Having the number 44 doesn't hurt either (see: Orlando Cabrera). Neither does going to Gonzaga (before it became cool).
I like Jason Bay's overall numbers. .267 average, .384 OBP, .537 SLG, .921 OPS. Very nice. 119 RBI, 36 HR. Excellent.
But was the Sox big offensive problem scoring runs in a 162 game stretch, or was it scoring runs consistently, day in, day out?
The Sox were 3rd in the AL with 872 runs. The Angels were only 9 ahead of them in 2nd, and only the Yankees were significantly above them with 915 runs. The Yankees, Angels, and Sox were also 1-2-3 in Major League Baseball for runs scored. The Sox scored 5.38 runs a game, more than 26 other clubs, and more than the 4.61 MLB average, and the 4.82 AL average. The Sox scored enough runs.
It was consistency. That was the problem with the offense. And if you want consistency, then don't look in Jason Bay's direction.
In June, he hit .230, with only 4 homers and 20 RBI. In July, he hit 1 homerun, and knocked in 5 runs, in 25 games. He hit .192. He was red hot in April and May. He warmed up again in August and September. Then he cooled off in October. In the ALDs, he was 1 for 8 with a single. He walked 3 times. 0 RBI.
Now all hitters are streaky hitters. Hot for a week, cold for a week. But Bay was hot for 2 months, cold for 2 months. And when Bay was having his worst struggles (July), the Sox went 13-12.
As I think more and more about Bay's inconsistency, I'm starting to reconsider my stance on the Sox re-signing him.