I was going to talk about some of the free agent signings and update their stats. I was going to mention how Casey McGehee has shown occasional value with his bat lately, how Clint Barmes continues to struggle, and how Rod Barajas has been doing about what was expected out of him. But somewhere in the process of looking at the numbers my opinions changed on those three guys.
First of all, McGehee hasn’t shown occasional value. He’s been very consistent with his bat this month. McGehee is hitting for a .292/.358/.514 line in the month of June, which doesn’t include today’s game. That’s after he had a .190 average and a .531 OPS through May, mostly due to a bad month of May. He had a .710 OPS in April, and had that horrible .339 OPS in May, so we can’t assume this is legit. But for now it definitely kills any talk of bringing up Jeff Clement to replace McGehee in the lineup.
Barajas has been about expected, with a low average, low on-base percentage, some power, and an OPS near .700. On the defensive side he’s a leader that works well with the pitching staff. There’s no stat to quantify that, unless we want to go with CERA, but it’s hard to argue against the impact Barajas has made with the pitching staff this year, especially young starters like James McDonald.
Then there’s Clint Barmes. On the season he’s hitting for a .200 average and a .519 OPS. That is well below the numbers he’s put up in previous years. His defense has actually been good, after getting off to a slow start. He currently has a 9.4 UZR/150, which is just below his 10.8 UZR/150 from last year. I was going to talk about how poor the bat has been, but I noticed he’s got a .630 OPS in June. That’s still bad, but not as horrible as his .465 OPS through the end of May. If he can bump that OPS up a bit more, and continue playing strong defense, he could help as expected. He won’t help the offense much, but his defense will provide some value in the field.
Of course it was only a month ago that I was suggesting the Pirates bring up Jordy Mercer for a few starts a week at shortstop, cutting Casey McGehee, and giving Jeff Clement a shot. A lot has changed since then, and a lot can change between now and next month. So I won’t assume that these numbers are legit, and are what we’ll see the remainder of the season. But they are nice to see right now.
Links and Notes
**The Pirates beat the Phillies 5-4.
**Pirates Notebook: Tabata Getting Closer to Being Demoted.
**Prospect Watch: Starling Marte Has Another Big Night.