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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

 

Larry, Larry, Larry...

Okay readers, (all two of you) I have returned from vacation. And after a trip to Colorado what could be a better time to reflect on our favorite former Rocky, Larry Walker. Some may disagree, but it seems Walker is in a bit of a slump so far this year. I was looking at his stats in the paper today, trying to convince myself that if the Cards make any moves at all, they get an outfielder. I wasn't disappointed with Larry's games played, but his stats line was something else. So far this year: .245 BA/.347 OBP/.417 SLG/.764 OPS His average line for 02-05: .309/.422/.551/.973 What's the matter? I don't know really. The guy is almost 40, so he's obviously not going to be putting up numbers similar to those of his earlier career in the mid-90s in Colorado. However, this really seems like more of a slump, and hopefully, he'll move back toward the mean as the season progresses. The holes are across the board, but there's a couple that really stand out this season. Walker's Batting Average has always been better against lefties than righties, but he's been able to hit the right handers for a little more power. 02-05 numbers (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) vs LHP- .327/.414/.505/.919 vs RHP- .300/.426/.574/1.ooo Now, take a peak at his 05 numbers against LHP & RHP: vs LHP (26 at-bats)- .269/.406/.731/.1.137 vs RHP (135 at-bats)- .244/.331/.363/.694 So, his batting average is low versus both, but in line with the trend. However, his power numbers against the RHP are way, way lower. Walker has 3 HR, 1 double and 1 triple vs LHP and 2 HR, 10 doubles and 0 triples vs RHP. Larry's a lefty, so logic would seem to tell us that he'll pick it up against the right handers. Let's hope. Now, there's one huge hole in the overall low numbers for Larry. Look at his performance on the road this year, .188/.241/.338/.579. At home, he's .309/.434/.506/.940. For his 02-05 averages for home versus road, it's more like this (now remember, this includes a lot of games at Coors Field): Home: .342/.454/.600/.1.054 Left: .274/.388/.499/.889 The road numbers are quite a bit below the away numbers (remember the whole Coors Field thing has something to do with that), but still the low numbers he's got for 2005 are far, far, far below the mean for the 38 year old outfielder who makes $12 million this season. Of course, the optimist in me says that this is just one more reason to be more at ease with the Cards lot in the NL this year, once Rolen returns and Walker starts moving back toward the mean against right handed pitching, etc. ... look out, this team could really run away with it all. But, I also need to state that I really think the Cards need to keep an eye out for a solid, young outfielder that can be a team staple for a few years, probably more important, even for a run at the title this year, than a high priced rental for the bullpen.
Comments:
This is still a tough call at this point in the season. If Larry, JimEd, and Rolen (when he returns) start hitting consistently, then the pen may be the only potentially weak spot (especially if Izzy goes down again). If they don't, then a hitter/OF'er will certainly be the key. Glad I'm not Walt right now, cause a wrong move will inspire much ire from all of Cards Nation. Regardless, I do think any trading or buying will be for the hitter/OF'er, so I really hope y'all are right.
 
your scenario would be ideal. that way we can get an OF in the off season...

I get edgy about any moves on a team that's rolling along, but that's not to say they can't be made and really help the team.
 
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