Monday, June 13, 2011

Miguel Tejada: Dead Cat Bounce or a Real Resurgence

It would be an understatement to say that Miguel Tejada hasn't done too well for the Giants this season but lately he seems to be playing better. Is this the real deal or just a dead cat bounce?

Since May 30th, Tejada has played ten games and put up a respectable .280/.333/.380 line. The power production isn't what you would want from a third baseman but it sure beats the .212/.237/.274 line that he was putting up before.

Are these signs of life? Did Tejada just need the weather to warm up a bit to get things going? Was it the looming return of Pablo Sandoval that got his competitive juices flowing again? I don't know for sure, but I have a feeling that these might be the last gasps of a very nice career.

It has been nice to see production coming out of Tejada, especially with Bruce Bochy inexplicably putting him in the second slot of the order on a regular basis lately. Having said that, his batted ball data isn't encouraging.

During his "hot" streak, it's not like he has been spraying line drives all over the yard. In fact, it's quite the contrary. His line drive rate is just 11.4%, which is below his season average and well below his career average. He is hitting everything on the ground right now and getting the good fortune of the ball finding holes. His power seems to have all but vanished with just one home run and none in his last 200 at-bats. With that drought, his home run per fly ball rate has fallen to 1.5% from his career number of 12.2% or even the 8.2% that he posted last season.

I have the sinking feeling that we are watching the last hurrah of a once great player. He is playing okay right now, but the numbers say giving him the benefit of the doubt would be a fool's errand.

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