Let me first say that I hate going to computerized statistics to justify how bad a ballplayer is or isn\’t. Usually, you can spot how ineffective a player is or isn\’t by their daily inefficiency. Case in Point–Kevin Millar, Red Sox Regular. The start of what might have been a promising sox career has spiraled down to horribly pathetic over the first 3 months of the 2004 season.
This is not a guy who has had a bad year, mind you. This is a guy who hasn\’t hit well since basically the All-Star break of 2003. Before the 2003 All-Star break, Millar hit like an all-star and his statistics were fabulous. He had many clutch hits for the team and was just one of many reasons why the 2003 sox had \’27 yankee type numbers. He had a .294 average but with 14 home runs and 61 RBI in a span of about 330 plate appearances.
After the all-star break, it was obvious millar\’s performance went down. He hit .251 in the second half and while he hit 11 home runs, his 35 RBI over the last half of the season were at best o.k., and not quite what sox nation was accustomed to from him. Granted, this is not a guy who has had 30 hr, 100 rbi type seasons, but his performance declined dramatically from the first to the second halves of 2003.
This season, his splits are beyond horrible. He has a .266 batting average with 5 total home runs and 21 total RBI and this is as a fulltime regular with the fifth most at bats on the entire team. Only ortiz, manny, damon, and bellhorn had more plate appearances than millar going into tonight\’s game. Now, is that really that bad as one chatter asked me earlier today? Well, let me show you how bad millar\’s numbers are right now.
Millar at Fenway Park– .248, 1 HR, 11 RBI, OBP of .318.
Millar v. Lefthanded Pitchers– .275, 1 HR, 2 RBI in 80 plate appearances. 2, count them 2 runs drive in over that many plate appearances against what is supposed to be a right-handed hitter\’s dominant advantage.
Millar v. Last year\’s AL Playoff Opponents– .188, 1 HR, 2 RBI in games v. Oakland and NY Yankees. Well, that\’s encouraging…Nice to know that if the Sox do make the playoffs, this is what we might get from the regular.
Millar v. AL East Teams:
v. Tampa Bay, .143, 3 for 21
v. NY Yankees, .190, 4 for 21
v. Toronto, .213, 10 for 47
v. Baltimore, .294, 8 for 27, 2 HR, 4 RBI…
Millar overall since last year\’s all-star break:
540 plate appearances (approximately)
16 HR, 56 RBI, .259 average. Better looking than some numbers, which means maybe his 2003 second half wasn\’t as bad as we thought. In fact, I\’ll take 2003 second half millar over 2004 first half millar. You can have the 15 points in batting average, give me some RBI and homers.
Now, why is this guy still getting at bats on this all-star laden team??? That is something i\’d like terry francona to explain to me. At one point, do you bench a guy like this. I\’d say his overall benching is way overdue. And i think he is best suited to spot start and pinch hit. I think what he did in the giants game 14-9 win was exactly what you can hope for from millar. A guy who maybe once in a while can get a hit off the bench. As a starter, he\’s done. As for his defensive prowess, well let\’s just say he\’s a scrappy little player who gives it his all. I don\’t think he\’s around for his defense, at least I don\’t think the sox brass has him around for that end of his game.
Is he a clubhouse guy? I guess so, he seems to have a positive effect on manny. He goofs around for the fans and does ads. He seems to be a spokesman for the team at times. That\’s why you keep him around for the bench. Anyway, I\’m sorry to expose Cowboy Up boy, but he has had ample time to find his batting stroke. This is a pennant race, and he\’s not doing his job as a regular.
fred from medford
p.s.–for rich, the chatter, he is hitting .212 in domes in 2004 (7 for 33).