Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Middle infield numbers

Here's something you didn't know:

Nick Punto (left) has outhit Orlando Cabrera since the O-Cab arrived in Minnesota. Yes he has.

Cabrera's slash stats with the Twins (numbers entering Tuesday): .242/.271/.357. OPS: .628
Punto's slash stats, same period: .271/.344/.346. OPS: .690

Cabrera's .271 on-base percentage is particularly repulsive. It is the lowest of any Minnesota position player. Yet he's been anchored in the No. 2 slot in the lineup since he joined the lineup Aug. 1.

Of the 73 AL players who qualify for the batting title, Cabrera is last in OPS, last in slugging percentage, and third from the bottom in on-base percentage. He hit better for Oakland than with Minnesota, but it's been stinky regardless.

Then there's Alexi Casilla: .196/.275./.249 (.524). Of the 150 American League players with at least 225 plate appearances, Casilla is dead last in OPS — by 58 points. He's last in slugging percentage — by 32 points. He does manage to crawl out of the cellar in OBP — he's 146th in that category. Just a dismal season.

A few weeks ago, Casilla has a five-game binge in which he got 11 hits. Dick Bremer was ecstatic. Casilla followed that with five straight hitless games and is three for 14 this month, and Punto has taken the bulk of the second base time.

Not that Punto is having a great season either. He's 147th in that 225-PA group in OPS, and he's the guy Casilla trails in slugging percentage. It's been a lousy season for Punto, but he's got a pretty good September going — and it might keep him prominent in the Twins' 2010 plans.

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