Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Benefit of Protection in the Lineup
Anyway, I drafted Carlos Lee as one of my outfielders and have watched him really struggle out of the gate. Currently he has a .097/.125/.097 through 31ABs, and this for a guy with a career .290/.343/.501 line. Slump yes, could it be his rodeo-obsession? Yes. But more likely than that, I suspect it's because, without Lance Berkman, he has no protection in the lineup. The problem is compounded by the fact that Hunter Pence, who has been hitting either 3rd (in-front) or 5th (behind) Lee hasn't been hitting at all either. You look around the league at 3 and 4-hole hitters and who hits behind or in front of them and you start to see how valuable protection in a lineup is. Holliday has Pujols, Morneau has Mauer, Tex has A-Rod and on and on. To me it makes what Adrian Gonzalez has managed to do in San Diego even more amazing. He's managed to continue a high level of hitting despite no protection.
For the sake of my center-fielder, I hope when Berkman comes back, he's able to contribute immediately to the offense. I should have expected a drop-off from the aging Lee, but this is truly pathetic.