Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rolen's statistical oddity

Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen has quietly put together a good season at the dish, though it's not without a head scratching statistical oddity. His average has been outstanding, yet his power numbers and RBI total are very low. With the Jays lacking production from the clean-up spot in the order, manager Cito Gaston has handed the responsibility over to Rolen.

On the surface, that would appear strange, but not when you consider that in 55 games, Rolen has hit at a .323 clip. In the month of June, Rolen has been scorching the ball with a stellar .416 batting average but has no home runs and just 2 RBI to show for it. Taking that further, his home run (3) and RBI (20) totals on the campaign would seem to indicate he leaves a lot to be desired. But does he?

In Tuesday night's ball game against Philly, Rolen, in his first game as the clean-up hitter, socked a single in the 9th inning, allowing Vernon Wells to move to 3rd, where he eventually scored the tying run. Then in the 10th frame, he came up huge again, poking a single to drive in the game winning run.

Rolen changed his swing in light of his persistent shoulder troubles that have plagued him the past couple of seasons. It seems to be paying off, at least in terms of his batting average. Now that he's been given a bigger role, perhaps those home run and RBI totals will jump so the only oddity then will be his batting stance.

4 comments:

Jay McMahon said...

Rolen's new swing is much shorter than his old one and has resulted in a loss of power. This in turn however, seems to have given him great command of his bat and his average is indicative. With the OBP of Lyle Overbay, it wouldn't be ridiculous to move him up to the number 3 spot in the order now to hit ahead of Rolen. Rios, being Wells with less effort, may as well team up with him lower in the order and keep their speed together. Though, Rios' speed is useless when you can't even tag up.

Michael Harrison said...

I like that thought about Overbay for sure. He's the one Jay I go back and forth on whether I like or not. Either way though, he definitely gets on base a lot and can rip some doubles and the occasional homer.

So the order, with what you think, should go like this right?

Scutaro
Hill
Overbay
Rolen
Lind
Wells
Rios
Barajas
Bautista/Millar

I'd like Overbay to break up the righty/lefty bats at the top of the order, so one of the two hitting in the 3 hole would be great

eyebleaf said...

Rolen as cleanup hitter FTW.

Jay McMahon said...

Yes, I like the order you've posted, but maybe tossing the catcher at the bottom of the order. I'm not a fan of Barajas and I like the way Chavez throws guys out. Albeit, Barajas was clutch today, but so was Chavez and it will go unrecognized.