Two things, real quick:
Kotchman’s up in Anahiem. Dude rakes. In AA he’s hitting .368/.438/.544. Even adjusted for the league, that’s good. Of course, only 14 of his 42 hits are for extra bases. So he’s not Superman. I only wanted to point out that the Angels, with like 40 guys on the DL, are calling up a guy who could pretty easily steal the starting job at 1b… though Erstad’s contract and compromising photos of top Angels executives seems to make that unlikely.
Justin Leone’s hitting in Tacoma. He’s not hitting like last year, but he’s hitting. At this point it does look like we have to start thinking some of his gains were for real. That’d be pretty cool, even if it just means that he’s stuck as a guy not good enough to force his way into a starting job. He’s fighting for playing time, but… dude.
(subscription required, but come on, it’s worth it for this kind of stuff)
That I recommend to anyone. Click has to make some assumptions for the sake of the article (sacrifices 100% successful, which as Dan Wilson shows us regularly, is optimistic), but the results are clear. The answer is “pretty much never”: only when your batter’s a weak-hitting pitcher, or when you really need that one run, and even then only in certain circumstances. It does (unless I’m reading this wrong) also omit the small number of sacrifices that result in the batter reaching first safely, but given that meaty 100% success rate, if anything I’d say the data’s slanted in favor of the sac bunt here, and it still comes out that negatively.
It also includes a really swank run expectation chart based on 2003 data. People bug me for this sometimes, and here’s a brand-new, nicely formatted one. I’d pay $40 for that.