He's not a star. Never was. He had an OPS+ of 136 for Atlanta in 2009 and an OPS+ of 102 for Atlanta in 2010. In 140 at bats for the Pirates he has surged to an OPS+ of 81, meaning that he trails such worthies as Xavier Paul, Ronny Cedeno, Willie Bloomquist, and Orlando Hudson. All is lost.
But note the trend. His OPS was 0.223 in April, 0.300 in May, and 0.333 so far in June. Maybe all is not lost. He's very close to the on-base forecasts of various ZIPS systems. But so far there has been little power, which is a bit of a surprise. Perhaps we can hope that what we've seen is just the luck of small sample size. He could get better. And remember, what we're missing is seeing Garrett Jones flail helplessly against lefties. He of the career 0.203 batting average against them.
It could be worse. We could be stuck with Jason Bay. He's also got OPS+ of 81. Imagine him in right field. (Or left these days.) He is guaranteed $16 million for 2011-2013 plus a $17 million club option ($3M buyout) for 2014.
It could be better. I guess it's a platoon of Pearce and Jones at first until Alvarez moves there. What's the way forward? Anyone?
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