The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to improve the ballclub as the stretch run continues in the 2013 season. Much has been made of the poor season that Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez have been having. One name that has come up is Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins, who cleared waivers this week.
Would Morneau help the Pirates situation? We took a look strictly at the numbers, adding in the production that St. Louis and Cincy are getting from their first basemen to gain perspective.
It doesn’t look real pretty, does it? So let’s add Morneau to the mix.
Take a close look at the comparison. Morneau doesn’t seem too inspiring when compared with the season-to-date production of Jones and Sanchez, right? The combo of Jones and Sanchez have combined for 548 at-bats while Morneau has 445. Jones and Sanchez have walked more, but also struck out more.
Morneau really struggled in the month of July, hitting just .175 – which saw his value at the trade deadline plummet. In August, he has hit six homers and has a .900 OPS while driving in 15 runs.
A big number to consider is how Morneau hits with runners in scoring position. The lefty has piled up 33 hits (115 AB) in such situations with nine doubles and three home runs including 50 RBI. He has whiffed 19 times with RISP.
Now, let’s look at Jones with runners in scoring position. The lefty has 17 hits (82 AB) in such situations with five doubles and one home run for 27 RBI. He has whiffed 16 times with RISP.
Now, let’s look at Sanchez with runners in scoring position. The right hander has 15 hits (71 AB) in such situations with five doubles and one home run for 21 RBI. He has whiffed 19 times with RISP.
Morneau is hitting well right now, the August numbers prove it. The production with runners in scoring position is evident. The guy can still play, he would improve the Pirates offense. The question seems to be will the Bucs pay the price for the upgrade, or roll the dice putting trust in Jones and Sanchez to deliver when the team needs it most?
We think the Bucs will stand pat with their guys; Jones and Sanchez can’t keep failing all season… can they?