Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Avoiding talkin' baseball

I'm not an ESPN Insider, so I'm only able to see the first paragraph of Joe Morgan's latest chat:

Jason (West Orange): Do you see anything wrong with Bobby Abreu?
Joe Morgan: I don't see him enough to make that evaluation, but Joe Torre said that he's not as aggressive as he normally is. A lot of guys get off to slow starts. He's a proven hitter so you'd expect him to pick it up before the season is over.

Wow. The very first sentence. It must be revenge for the name of the site - it kills those guys when Morgan claims that he doesn't watch enough baseball, when basically he's paid to do nothing but watch it all the time. This must be on purpose, now. He should just go right ahead and start a blog named "Give Ken Tremendous a Stroke."

For the record, Joe Torre has a lot of problems right now: besides his craptacular outfield, injured players, and duct-taped pitching, the tabloids are thirsting for his job on a pike to parade through Times Square.

I don't think "lack of aggression" is really Abreu's trouble, by the way - he was never an aggressive hitter in Philly, either. He far prefers to walk than to hit a bad ball. Neither was he ever the masher people recall from that one fateful Home Run Derby - he's had two 30+ homer seasons, with his excellent OPS fueled primarily by walks and doubles. He's a gap hitter with decent power: certainly a fine player to have, but not the second coming of Mickey Mantle... He's more comparable to this fellow: walks more and goes deep less, but it's there.

Note that sudden start of decline round about age 33? That's where Abreu is now. I tend to agree with Morgan in that Abreu can't be as bad the whole year as he is currently (he's slugging LOWER than his on-base percentage, which defies belief) - but it's not likely that he'll rebound to .300/.400/.500.

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