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Friday, April 16, 2010

Maybe Joe Torre Should Get Acclimated With Stats

Blake DeWitt did not start in Thursday's night game, being replaced by Jamey Carroll. Joe Torre's reasoning, reported by Ken Gurnick:
Manager Joe Torre first explained that DeWitt is "struggling" with his swing and "fouling off pitches that he should be putting into play."

Torre, however, also conceded that DeWitt's lifetime numbers against Haren -- 0-for-10 with five strikeouts -- were more than a small factor in the decision.
I've got no real problem with Torre's second train of thought, though I would have started DeWitt if the decision had been mine. However, Torre then said this:
"I only pay attention to stats if they get my attention," Torre said in Yogi Berra fashion.
Perhaps Joe should go back and look at those fancy statistics, and focus in on the one titled "O-B-P". Let's help old Joe out: it stands for on-base percentage, and is the single most important measurement of how productive a player has been offensively. A high OBP is more conducive to scoring runs than a low one, and scoring more runs than the other team is kind of important, or so I've heard.

Blake DeWitt's OBP coming into Thursday, through 7 games and 28 plate appearances: .429, good for third among regulars on the team. He's the most patient, or one of the two or three most patient hitters, on the team, and while he may not be swinging the bat up to the standards he would like to, he's still getting on-base, which is all that matters.

Hey Joe, does that get your attention? Because a .429 OBP should every day of the week.

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