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Bucs Offense Through August 6

Name/OBP/SLG/VORP
Bay .387/.553/53.6
Mackowiak .345/.417/15.0
Duffy .409/.494/11.1
Ward .325/.427/9.9
Castillo .301/.394/7.0
C. Wilson .403/.344/5.0
Sanchez .321/.357/4.4
Cota .279/.385/3.7
Hill .343/.333/1.8
Eldred .326/.450/1.8
Redman .298/.355/1.4
Gerut (as a Pirate) .429/.571/1.2
Doumit .306/.346/0.5
Restovich .305/.377/0.2
Wigginton .261/.398/-0.9
J. Wilson .272/.344/-1.4

VORP is a statistic that attempts to measure the number of offensive runs a player has contributed over the level of the typical bench or Class AAA replacement player at his position. VORP is cumulative, so a player who has fewer plate appearances is likely to be closer to 0 than a player who has more. To put this statistic into perspective, Derrek Lee is first among position players at 79.4, Jeromy Burnitz is around average for big-league starters at 13.6, and Cristian Guzman is last at -17.1. (The VORP figures come from Baseball Prospectus.)

Conclusions:

  1. Jason Bay is the man.
  2. Chris Duffy isn't nearly as good as he has looked so far, but he's one of the few Pirates unambiguously earning his keep as a starter right now.
  3. Rob Mackowiak, as one of the few Pirates who has been even average on offense, probably should be playing every day until the Pirates get a lot better. Although much of his production was concentrated earlier in the season, there's no reason he can't get hot again. The Freddy Sanchez experiment at third needs to end. Sanchez can be a valuable player, but probably only as a middle infielder and occasional starter at third. Mackowiak can play there most nights, or he can play right field - it really doesn't matter which unless Craig Wilson gets back.
  4. The Pirates have a huge glut of starters or semi-starters with VORPs of 10.0 or lower. That's a big problem. Daryle Ward and Humberto Cota should not be blocking Brad Eldred or Ryan Doumit, period - Ward and Cota aren't helping the team much with their play.
  5. Jack Wilson has been a serious problem for the Pirates this year, and the Pirates have him under contract next year as well. If he weren't, the Pirates probably ought to consider replacing him.
  6. The Pirates rank 29th in the majors with 455 runs scored. That's dreadful. They only have had four players (Bay, Mackowiak, Duffy and the departed Matt Lawton) who have performed at or above an average offensive level for their positions. There is no reason for the Pirates to be attached to any other player who isn't a part of their future.