Sunday, May 15, 2011

Is Miguel Tejada Just a Victim of Bad Luck?


Prepare yourselves for the most obvious statement of the year; Miguel Tejada is struggling and has played very poorly for the Giants this season.

The next most important question; is this the end or is there a reason to be optimistic that this is just a rough patch?

To a certain extent, Tejada has been the victim of some bad luck but even taking that into consideration, things look mighty ugly. I took a look at how things have shaken out for him so far this season compared to the previous three years and his career norms.

2011
3 Year Avg
Career
SLG
BAbip
SLG
BAbip
SLG
BAbip
Ground Balls
0.206
0.190
0.257
0.236
0.252
0.233
Fly Balls
0.306
0.108
0.505
0.153
0.455
0.101
Line Drives
0.563
0.438
0.926
0.722
1.054
0.734

Everything is down compared to his last three year averages and everything except for the BAbip for fly balls is down compared to his career numbers. So, the balls are not landing in for hits and even when they do they are not going for extra bases at the same rate they had previously.

Why isn't this just a case of bad luck that we should expect to normalize as the season moves forward?

The reason this doesn't make everything perfume and roses is the composition of the batted balls has changed to more ground balls and less line drives. This drop in line drives could be a result of a small sample but it could also possibly be tied to his selection of pitches that he swings at. Over the years he has gotten worse at laying off pitches outside of the strike zone, which is a recipe for weak contact for most hitters.

You are probably asking yourselves about if he goes back towards his historical rates of power and balls in play going for hits. Let me tell you but first, it is not so pretty and the squeamish should avert their eyes.

His triple slash right now would be .277/.304/.390. Yeah, that is still not good and translates into a wOBA in the .305-.310 range. That's better than what he has done now, but when combined with below average defense, that is not a lot positive added to a team.

I hope things turn around for him though because the alternatives are just about as dismal.

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