Thursday, May 13, 2010

And while I'm in a bad mood...A-Ram

Let me preface this by saying this, the few times Ramirez has actually made contact with the ball this year, he has hustled around the bases.

That is where my positive comments end.

Ramirez is terrible right now...and he is terrible in virtually every aspect of the game.

We have seen how bad he has been at the plate.

Here are some just frightening statistics for Ramirez so far this year:
  • He has 1 multi hit game...and that was the first game of the season.
  • His OPS is currently .481...last year Aaron Miles had an OPS of he is just a little better than Aaron Miles right now
  • He has 32 total bases this year.  Carlos Zambrano, the pitcher, has 32 total bases last year.
  • His strikeout percentage is at 22% right now.  That is almost a strikeout per game.
  • His groundball to flyball ration is .38...which means that when he is making contact, he's popping the ball up a lot.  (League average is .78)
  • The percentage of runners on base who have scored from his at-bats is 12%.  The league average is 15%.  (But compared to Milton Bradley last year, he's better...Bradley was 10%).
So Ramirez is hitting about has well as Aaron Miles and has been about as clutch as Milton Bradley was.

And now to fielding.  He has committed 6 errors already this year, and has been flat out sloppy so far this season in the field.  It is traditionally said that if you are slumping at the plate, you shouldn't let it affect your play in the field.  That has not held true with A-Ram this year.  In fact, in watching the games, I have noticed that he has appeared extremely tentative in the field and at times very lax in his fielding.  With the obvious problems Castro has the shortstop, and previously with Theriot's lack of range and of an arm, the defensive void on the left side of the infield right now it rather large (and that doesn't include the joke of a defender that Soriano is in left field). Ramirez's fielding percentage is .920...which means he commits an error on just about 1 out of every 12 attempts right now. 

So what do you do here?  The Cubs are actually in a really bad position with Ramirez.  He has a full no-trade clause in his contract (assuming he had any trade value what-so-ever) and has a player option for next season.  Once again, because of a contract, the Cubs are in a bind.

And is anyone surprised that Ramirez is actually only 32 years old.  Yes...he is younger than Soriano, Lee, Byrd, Kosuke, Dempster...and just a few months older than Xavier Nady.  But is he actually that young?  He is from the Dominican Republic, where a number of players have actually falsified their age to be more attactive to major league scouts.  Ramirez was only 20 years old when he came up with the Pirates.  But was he?  He is sure playing older than his 32 right now.  Could he in fact be 34, 35 or even 36 years old?  It shouldn't be out of the question.

I don't have any solutions here...but Ramirez is on pace to being historically bad this year.  He is typically a slow starter...but he's never been this slow or this bad.  On the positive end, on the few balls he has actually made contact with over the last few days, he has hit the ball hard.