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May Report Card: Position Players

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Record: 8-19, 19-31 Overall
Position: 4th, 8.0 games back of Oakland


Source: FanGraphs. Standard caveats that this is only one measurement and a very small sample.

Total team UZR for the month was a respectably good 10.1 runs. Plus/Minus wasn't as enthusiastic, reversing their roles from April. Gutierrez and Jose Lopez both saw their UZRs begin to catch up with their impressively high DRS totals. In fact, speaking of Jose Lopez...

Quick 3B update!

Jose Lopez 437 9 7.7 .818 18
Adrian Beltre 450 8 3.6 .767 24




Hey pinhead! These numbers are based off an incredibly small sample and do not mean that Jose Lopez is actually a better defensive third baseman than Adrian Beltre. Stop thinking they mean that!

However, Jose Lopez still holds a lead over Beltre in the defensive numbers for 2010. Beltre certainly closed the gap in May, but Lopez is holding on. Meanwhile, Beltre has a .378 park-adjusted wOBA and Lopez is at .269. Granted, Beltre isn't hitting for more power or walking any more. His wOBA is inflated by a .381 BABIP.

Chone Figgins has not impressed either visually or statistically at second base which is a shame. It's a good thing that Lopez has been so good while at third otherwise we'd have to be having rants about the obviousness of moving those two back to their pre-2010 positions and the Mariners not doing it because who knows why, followed by us ranting more, followed by them still not doing anything, followed by us finally getting over it, followed by them calling up a reliever for no reason, followed by us using that pretext to rehash the whole thing all over again. Ugh, now I'm tired just from the hypothetical. Or maybe from the fried chicken I just ate. 

Way to fill in, Josh Wilson. You have been a pleasant surprise on a team seemingly full of either mildly pleasant surprises or colossally massive disappointments.





Click for full size. Mariners wOBA for May 2010. Source

Quick month to month player points!

  • Mike Sweeney posted a swing rate of 60% in April which I railed against. He listened, dropping it all the way down to 56%! Of course his wOBA going from .231 in April to .423 in May helped too.
  • Milton Bradley had a horrific month with six strikeouts for every walk and tons of balls hit on the ground. He wasn't unlucky, he just sucked though his contact rate improved.
  • Casey Kotchman was sucky in May and part of it had to do with a 60% ground ball rate. He showed promise in April cutting that number to 45% so 60% is a big step back. So big that it really shouldn't be singular. This was several steps back. At least he can still draw walks. 
  • Franklin Gutierrez couldn't repeat his .403 BABIP but he decided to start drawing walks instead going from a 21-8 strikeout to walk rate in April to a 27-20 in May. Even when he stops hitting on a hot streak, he's managed to improve himself in a way. Franklin's offensive rise is nothing short of drawing an inside straight flush for this team.
  • Rob Johnson was much improved in April over 2009 largely in part because he stopped swinging at almost anything and thus drew enough walks to make him a league average hitter. A league average hitter paid the minimum at catcher is immensely valuable. More so than Johnson's defense could deflect. May's Rob Johnson is not so valuable in large part because he started swinging again. Don't swing, Rob.
  • Remember how we discussed that almost every Mariner hitter had seen his contact rate drop this season? No, you don't. Do you? You don't remember anything. You probably don't even remember what I am writing about right now. It's about contact rates. They were down. Well, the following players saw improved contact rates in May: Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Sweeney, Milton Bradley, Chone Figgins, Casey Kotchman, Franklin Gutierrez, Jose Lopez and Rob Johnson. 
  • Players that saw diminished contact rates in May: Ichiro Suzuki. That guy never wants to fit in.