At the three quarter pole and we are above .500, just. But then above is better than below. Here are the marks for the batters. Guess what? They ain't great.
Zaun D...At the midway point it looked like he was turning his season around but since then he hasn't played much and when he has played he has been awful batting .174 since the break, not really making the case for more playing time.
Barajas C+…At the mid-point his OPS was near the top of the league among catchers, I think only Joe Mauer was better, now he's closer to the middle of the league. I don't know if I've ever seen any player that goes from so hot to so cold, then back to hot. It would likely ease the cold stretches if he could take a walk now and then.
Overbay C+…Leads the team in on base percentage, walks, second in RBI's, fourth in home runs. One would think it was a good season. I'd like Cito to move him into the one or two slot in the order, but he's moved him to the back of the lineup. Third in the league in hitting into double plays. Amazes me he isn't first.
Eckstein C…Hard to mark, Cito doesn't like him. His fielding average is the same as Mac's and his range factor isn't much worse. It is great fun to watch him throw to first from short. But just because it doesn't look right doesn't mean he's bad. I don't mind him playing second, but Cito doesn't have any faith in his bat, has him bunt anytime someone is on. Cito's always been one that once he doesn't have faith in you nothing is going to change his mind, ask Shawn Green.
Scutaro C... Hitting almost the same as Eck, not quite as good, but Cito bats him at the top of the order. His defense is about the same as Eck's at SS. His defense at third looks a little better, but then his bat can't carry third at all.
McDonald B....He is swinging the bat much much better now that he is playing everyday. Last night's game he got a 12 pitch walk and a 10 pitch double. If he can make the pitchers throw that many pitches, I'm happy, hits or not. He is great to watch on the field, my only concern is sometimes he'll try for a play that just isn't there. Maybe trying too hard to impress. He has made too many errors and when you bat .212 you can make errors. Glad to see Cito starting to use him every day.
Rolen D…Great defense. His offense has been awful but might be unfair to judge him with a sore shoulder. But then who says we have to be fair. JP was being optimistic (or stupid) to think he could make it thru a season without being hurt. And with his contract it's likely he can't be traded. But if he is your third baseman you really ought to have a stud in the minors to fill in for him when he is hurt. We have Scoot.
Rios D….His slugging average has come up a bit since the break, but his average and on base has gone down. He steals a bunch but that's sort of a who cares thing, a corner outfielder has to have power or get on base a lot. Rios, this year, does neither. It is hard to figure where his power has gone but the big question is will it be back? Next year's GM has to figure that out. If he slugs like last year he's valuable, if not, he's not. He hasn't looked like he is always in the game and has been just awful with runners on base. Cito keeps saying batters have to have a plan when they come to the plate. When is Rios going to get the message?
Vernon Wells C.... Another season lost to injuries. Not quite up there with the Giant's Zito contract for worst contracts ever but isn't a good one. Problem is he can't be traded, then again neither can Rios with his contract now. Or Rolen. Is hard to improve a team when you can't trade anyone.
Stairs D-.. As Hugo mentioned, our worst offensive position has been DH and Stairs has been our DH. He last hit a homerun July 28th. He is slugging .310 this month. One of JP's mistakes was to figure that Stairs could hit like last season two years in a row. Last year was a career year and career years don't happen over and over when you are 40. Trust me.
Inglett B+…He has fallen off a little since the break but who would have expected this sort of season from Joe. Third in the league in triples and the two in front of him have twice as many at bats as he does. He has hit a lot better than Hill was before the injury. He's only made two errors this season playing 5 different positions. A keeper.
Adam Lind A-.....I'd like him to take a few more walks and his defense isn't great. Other than that, he's been amazing. Just off a three game hitless streak which is the first time since he was called back up, that he went more than one game without a hit. And he is hitting the ball hard, .512 slugging average. He is the one little reason why keeping Stewart over Johnson worked out. If Johnson was with the team I'm not sure that Lind would have been called up.
Wilkerson F…Gotta like him much better on the bench now that Wells is back. Not a bad defensive replacement or pinch runner. He must lead the league in pop up percentage.
Everyone else gets an incomplete. Pitchers tomorrow.