I know it’s tacky to quote yourself, but I never claimed to be non-tacky. I got the opportunity to write a guest post for Rob Neyer’s SweetSpot blog this week and I took the chance to talk a little about the Giants situation with Mark DeRosa.
It seems that the Giants are hoping that some rest will cure DeRosa’s wrist pain, but his inability to pull the ball this year suggests that he’s going to need surgery at some point. The meat-and-potatoes quote:
The above data (thanks to Baseball-Reference) indicates Mark DeRosa’s hit trajectory for the past three years, his current numbers and his career average. As you can see, DeRosa being a right-handed hitter, is most likely to pull the ball for hits (33.1% career average) or hit the ball up the middle (48.4% career average). DeRosa’s 2010 data sample is small, but I think it’s somewhat telling. DeRosa has flared a few hits up the middle (55.5%) but has nearly doubled his career average when hitting the ball to the opposite field. And, of course, this data only represents base hits and not all batted balls from DeRosa. If you examined his spray charts, you would see that he’s hitting an awful lot of balls into the opposite field.
The data backs up what we’ve seen. Mark DeRosa has been unable to pull the ball this year. It’s a minuscule sample size of 18 hits, but he hasn’t looked right. The Giants eased him along in Spring Training and now they’re hoping — maybe wishing is the better term — that he’ll be better by just resting. Call me skeptical, but it seems like an unlikely result for a player that called his surgery a “total failure”. In fact, the Giants seem steadfast about holding onto the idea that DeRosa might not need surgery during the season.
From the Mercury News:
For now, the Giants hope to get DeRosa back on the field as soon as possible. He had a cortisone injection in his wrist Wednesday, and Bochy pushed back his initial timetable, saying he’d be willing to wait until Sunday for DeRosa to show improvement before he’d go on the disabled list.
In other words: Oh jeez, please magically get better. Please!
As I suggest in the Neyer link above, DeRosa’s injury opens the door for John Bowker, who appears to have done something to improve himself last year in AAA. Giving him an extended shot to play LF might be risky, but the Giants have hardly any options. Unless you consider Eugenio Velez or The Ghost of Fred Lewis suitable options for LF. Instead, I get the feeling that the Giants will try to grit and gamer their way through DeRosa’s flapping wrist tendons for a few weeks before realizing that he’s going to continue to be hurt and play ineffectively.
Stubbornness, it’s the Giants Way.