Thursday, July 22, 2010
Fred Lewis and That Nagging Feeling
Will you look at the clock? It is time for my quarterly worry session over the future of Fred Lewis!
Maybe his combination of fortune and misfortune on Tuesday night is sticking in my head, but I (again) have concerns over the ongoing of viability of Fred Lewis playing every day. Tuesday night he picked up a lucky double after Scott Podsednik misplayed a fly ball, likely due to the video boards recently installed at The K. Later in the same game, Lewis laced bullet line drives on consecutive at bats, directly at the first and/or second baseman. He drew a walk so his day was a success; but still I worry.
There are positive signs in Fred Lewis' monthly splits. His walk rate rises each month, all the way to 11.4% here in July. His K's are on the way down too, with a season low 17% in July. Still, his swing rates and contact patterns show a man deep in the heart of an old fashioned Cito-ing.
Fred Lewis' out of zone swings are a career high of 27%, way up from 18/19% range of his last two seasons. He swings at more pitches overall and makes for more contact out side of the zone. Should we be worried?
Lewis came with the calling card of a patient gap-hitter, a speedy guy with a high BABIP. More infield pop ups and fewer infield hits yet he still outpaces his expected batting average on balls in play (.351 BABIP, .323 xBABIP.) There is a slump waiting to happen wearing number 15 for the Jays.
A slump he can't afford, considering the imminent return of Travis Snider and the large sunk cost of Edwin Encarnacion still moping around. As you might imagine, I'm pretty content with Fdot's offensive output thus far. The stolen bases are coming with a little more regularity (5 in July!) also nice to see.
Hopefully Lewis bounces back quickly from his ankle injury as he and Yunel Escobar make quite the tandem. Maybe, just maybe, having a legit number 2 guy behind him will free Lewis to swipe bags and take walks with impunity. Whatever that's worth.
Fred Lewis image courtesy of the goddamn Air Force.
Labels: Fred Lewis