#AlwaysSmooth billboards will be popping up all over Pittsburgh

7 Surprising Facts About Pirates Clint Barmes

Last year about this time the frustration was setting in.  Oh, what a difference a year makes.  We got nostaglic after the 81st win last night and started looking back through some old posts.  This one about Clint Barmes caught our eye so we updated it with this years numbers.

We wrote the following last September 7.

When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Clint Barmes last November, he was the team’s highest-paid player going into the season. That obviously changed but thinking that Bob Nutting would stroke such a big check for a questionable shortstop was a bit puzzling, The Pirates paid Barmes $5 million dollars for 2012 and will pay him $5.5 million in 2013.

Here was the company line:

“His makeup fits our club and our city. He’s a blue-collar kid who has had to scratch and claw and fight for everything he’s got.” Clint Hurdle

The (now) 33-year old shortstop has been the best defender (is probably still one of the best) according to some defensive metrics.

We think it’s obvious Barmes hasn’t lived up to what he has been paid. Heh, it’s not our cash, but maybe there is a way the Bucs could squeeze some more production from him this season? Because let’s face it, should the Pirates make the postseason ( no idea why we thought they might make the postseason–the collapse was in full effect?), like it or not, Barmes will be the guy playing short.

Having accepted that reality, we set out to dig some interesting facts based solely on performance.

Clint Barmes is a frequent candidate for twitter frustration among Pirates fans.

We found some interesting things that you might enjoy.

1. In 2012, Barmes put up this line since the All-Star break: .252/.290/.333/.624. That surprised me a little bit.

In 2013, Barmes has put up this line since the All-Star break: .216/.275/.392/.667OPS.

2. In 2012, what was just mind fu## material is the fact he has ten walks and 93 strikeouts.

In 2013, those numbers have improved-less at-bats help.  It must be the new twitch and leg kick Always Smooth has incorporated into his swing because to date he has walked twelve times and struckout 61 times.

3. Looking closer at the strikeouts in 2012, he has whiffed 25 % of the time against right handers, and 19 % against left handers.

We didn’t bother to look up what he has done in 2013, just know this, Barmes is swinging at more pitches outside the zone since his rookie season.  It’s over 40% now, so you know what time it is right?

It’s Mercer Time bitches!

4.  In 2012 through Sept 7, Barmes hit southpaws well—against left handed pitching Barmes was .286/.348/.393 with a .741 OPS.

In 2013 through Sept 4, Barmes sucks against lefties with a .189/.218/.321/ it adds up to a paltry .539 OPS.

5. With the bases empty last year, Barmes had 230 at-bats, his average was .183. Practically an automatic out with 61 of those strikeouts (26.5% K rate) coming in this situation. How about a walk to get something going—hahahahahahaha! He has three walks with nobody on base.

With the bases empty in 2013, drumroll please….Barmes has 172 at-bats, his average is .215 with 45 strikeouts (26% again)  He has two walks with nobody on base.

6. When the Pirates load up the bases, who would you want to step to the plate based on what they have done this season? Think before you answer. Sure, #AlwaysSmooth banged a grand slam off the foul pole that one time for his first career granny, but certainly Barmes wouldn’t even be in your top five picks right?

With the bases drunk in 2012, Barmes was batting .429 a remarkable 6-for-14 with 16 RBI! In bases loaded situations, Barmes had an OPS over 1.000. The guy had 41 RBI all season and 16 of them have come in huge situations with the bases full of Bucs??!

In 2013, not so much excitement from Barmes with the bases juiced. One hit in five at-bats with a run driven in.

7. In 2012 during extra innings, Barmes was batting .500 with two doubles.

In 2013 extra inning games, Barmes has two singles in five at-bats.

Looking at the offense, it’s apparent that 2012 is just not where Barmes wants to be despite some small sample size “ice in his veins” situational numbers. We think it was obvious Barmes tried to impress early in the season, maybe as he tried to back up Clint Hurdle’s “Barmes is a guy who will bloody his nose for you,” quote that was heard about fifty times around town.

2013 is beautiful for many reasons, the most important is the fact that the Pirates are in first place.  Barmes is still smooth in the field and that’s his true value.  Always Smooth has flashed some serious leather and has ten less errors than last season, of course he has played 466 fewer innings too.  His UZR/150 is 17.5 in 2013 versus 11.3 for all of 2012.

Not many complaints are tweeted about Barmes any more, well until the moment Jordy Mercer boots a ball.  In 2013 with a solid offensive lineup now ahead of Barmes, all we need to see is that beautiful, always smooth, jump throw.

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Clint Barmes offensive stats, when broken down month by month, are just ugly:

2012 April: .149/.186/.284-16K’s

2013 April: .181/234/.208-20K’s

2012 May: .189/.205/.257-23K’s

2013 May: .238/262/365-11K’s

2012 June: .247/.274/.358-16K’s

2013 June: .188/.188/.250-9K’s

2012 July: .233/.263/.274-10K’s

2013 July:  .296/.367/.407–14K’s

2012 August: .271/.295/.376-25K’s

2013 August: .162/.184/.378–6K’s

2012 Sept: .250/.357/.250-3K’s

2013 Sept: .286/.286/.429-1K

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