Sunday, May 27, 2007

Whatever Happened to That RF of Ours Last Year?

Well, he did get a key single on Sunday for the Red Sox. But overall, wrote Murray Chass in today's NY Times, JD Drew has been Coco Crisp-like in Boston:

Drew Is Struggling

Given their two-month record, best in the major leagues, the Boston Red Sox cannot be faulted for making too many mistakes. But unless J. D. Drew turns around his season soon, he will become this year’s Coco Crisp.

Needing to replace Johnny Damon in center field last year, the Red Sox thought they had found a suitable substitute in Crisp. But Crisp turned out not to be the same player he was for Cleveland the previous two years, when he batted .297 and .300 and had on-base percentages of .344 and .345. With Boston he hit .264 and had a .317 on-base percentage.

The Red Sox blamed Crisp’s poor performance on a finger injury he sustained in the first week of the season. But he has incurred no finger injury this season, and he began yesterday hitting .242 with a .308 on-base percentage.

Drew began yesterday with a .230 batting average and a .341 on-base percentage. But where Crisp’s production was creeping up, Drew’s was plunging. For the month of May, Drew had a .167 batting average and a .296 on-base percentage.

“He’s a good player,” Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein said. “He’s not hitting right now. He’s in a slump. It’ll come.”

Did the Red Sox expect more from Drew early in the season?

“He was real hot for a few weeks of the season,” Epstein said. “He’s been fighting a slump since. It’s just a matter of time. You don’t give up on guys who have good track records and are going to hit.”

And to whom you gave a $75 million contract.

If it is any consolation, Drew has been healthy. In his eight-year career he has never played as many as 110 games in successive seasons. He played 146 games for the Dodgers last season and played in 41 of Boston’s first 47 games this season.

By the way, Andre Ethier (whose pinch-hit home run gave the Dodgers the chance to beat the Cubs in extras Sunday) is batting .280 with 4 HR and 23 RBI this season. Drew is batting .234 and has 2 HR and 15 RBI so far. We do miss Drew's power bat, but maybe not as much as we thought we did.


Eric Karros said...

At least Drew's OBP is significantly higher than his BA, unlike Crisp. But when you're batting 0.197 I guess that's not much consolation.

nelsondyer said...

Speaking of Drew, I'd like to bring to your attention, and to that of your readers, the L.A. Weekly cover story this week on the agent Scott Boras, who of course reps Drew, along with Lowe, Maddux, Weaver, Beltre, Gagne, A-Rod and Dice-K. It's a full-length profile that ponders the positives and negatives Boras brings to the game. He says some choice things about the Dodgers, among other teams that don't do as he'd like them to, and there's an incisive, straightforward interview with Ned Colletti. And if you'd like to know who is the most powerful, intriguing figure at Dodger Stadium when Boras is in attendance, read on:

(or, specifically:)

There's also a Love Letter to the Dodgers this week: