Thursday, September 02, 2004

The slide continues

La Russa continues to give Marlon Anderson opportunities to turn things around, and he continues to disappoint.

Last night, Marlon kicked off September pretty much where he left off in August, going 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts in the leadoff spot. To state the obvious, this guy has been brutal since a very torrid April.

April - .345/.361/.638, 999 OPS, 58 at-bats
May - .216/.279/.243, 522 OPS, 37 at-bats
June - .213/.275/.319, 594 OPS, 47 at-bats
July - .114/.175/.257, 432 OPS, 35 at-bats
August - .161/.161/.194, 355 OPS, 31 at-bats

That adds up to a .129 average since the All-Star break over 62 at-bats. Yuck.

As a pinch hitter, he's hitting .297/.350/.486, 836 OPS, 37 at-bats. I suspect that most of those solid numbers came in the month of April. Even if they didn't - would you trust Marlon to pinch-hit in the 7th game of the World Series in New York, bases loaded, 2 outs, and the Cards trailing by a run?

I totally agree with Anderson getting as many starts as possible over the next month to prove or disprove himself. But with better left handed pinch hitting options - namely John Mabry, Roger Cedeno, and potentially Ray Lankford - I really don't want to see Anderson on the post-season roster unless he turns it around. Tony Womack should start every game in the playoffs with or without Anderson available as a backup. In the event that he were to get injured, I would have no problem with Hector Luna starting games in October. He's not exactly Rogers Hornsby, but compared to Marlon Anderson...well, he kind of is. Both Luna and Anderson have no playoff experience, so that is a moot point.

Bottom line - in my book, Anderson has just over 4 weeks to prove himself to me. Of course, I'm not the one making the decisions, and LaRussa has a history of going with experience over youth - especially in the playoffs. If Anderson doesn't turn it around and is available in October? Well, I hope it doesn't come down to a pinch hit being required to win it all.


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