Twins and RISP: The whole story

Recently there has been a lot of frustration about the Twins stranding runners and under-performing as a team in with runners in scoring position. Several places have been trying to look at the phenomenon and even some contributed it to 'bad luck'. All the analyses I have seen have one thing in common: They look at the team as a whole vs the individual players. Here I am looking at the difference of the overall batting average of each individual player from his batting average with RISP. I am looking at batting average, because a single is usually sufficient to score someone in scoring position and a walk does not help. Without further ado:

Casilla: Overall: .257; RISP: .333 (+.076)
Thome: Overall: .241; RISP: .300 (+.059)
Hardy: Overall: .243; RISP: .294 (+.051)
Span: Overall: .287; RISP: .324 (+.047)
Punto: Overall: .218; RISP: .250 (+.032)
Kubel: Overall: .217; RISP: .233 (+.016)

Mauer: Overall: .340; RISP: .341 (+.001)
Young: Overall: .263; RISP: .262 (-.001)

Morneau: Overall: .369; RISP: .306 (-.063)

Cuddyer: Overall: .278; RISP: .213 (-.066)
Hudson: Overall: .293; RISP: .217 (-.076)
Harris: Overall: .176; RISP: .077 (-.089)

So, it is unfair to dump the whole team in a bucket. Six players (Casilla, Thome, Span, Hardy, Kubel, Punto) have been hitting better with RISP than overall. Two others have been consistent (Mauer, Young). Morneau has a big drop with RISP, but he still is batting .306 in this situation, which has him 4th in BA with RISP in the team behind Mauer, Casilla and Span. The major culpits for the Twins' woes in this situation are Orlando Hudson, Michael Cuddyer and Brendan Harris. Three players. Not the whole team. There are enough substitutes (Casilla, Kubel, Punto) to limit the time of these 3 players.

Not luck, not a black cat, not a whole team fault. Just 3 players... who should sit until starting to heat up


Nick N. said...

Just because the struggles are centralized somewhat does not mean it still isn't a matter of luck. Since your analysis is so flimsy, let's actually dig deeper and look at Cuddyer's, Hudson's and Harris' BABIP w/ RISP as compared to their normal figures:

Cuddyer: Overall: .288; RISP: .226 (-.062)
Hudson: Overall: .329; RISP: .286 (-.043)
Harris: Overall: .209; RISP .091 (-.118)

Also, it's not so much w/ RISP that the Twins have been failing, their .264 overall average in those situations isn't all that much worse than their .273 overall average. It's in specific situations: runners on second and third (.167), bases loaded (.169) and runner on third with less than two outs (.195). All those scenarios, the team's BABIP is ridiculously low.

It's bad luck, plain and simple. No matter how hard you try to make it seem like it's all Cuddyer's fault.

thrylos98 said...

Since when hitters' BABIP has anything to do with luck? Pitchers' BABIP is a different story. Using hitters' BABIP to make an argument is weak :)

Regardless, these 3 are not pulling their weight (luck, karma, sin, something they did in a previous life, whatever) and should benefit from some down time, esp. Hudson and Cuddyer, because Harris is viewed as a bench player. Casilla needs some more playing time because he has been a very good situational hitter so Hudson should probably sit a bit and Cudduyer could benefit from days off when (like tonight) both Kubel and Thome are in the lineup... Does not make sense to keep Young out of the lineup in favor of Cuddyer, but Gardy is Gardy

Nick N. said...

Yeah, you're right. Hudson's .366 OBP in front of Mauer/Morneau has been a huge burden. We payed him to drive in runs, dammit!!

thrylos98 said...

In case you forgot to look, Casilla's OBP is .381... just sayin'

Dan Cook said...

Interesting approach to the question. Well done.

matt broberg said...

Not only is Cuddy terrible with guys on base but hes easily the worst defender on the team. Id certainly start giving cuddy some days off instead of just delmon (most valuable defensive outfielder compared to positional average) when thome needs to play. But thats not going to happen.