Jose Vidro’s terrible start, Pepe Vidro’s success

DMZ · April 22, 2008 at 9:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Last year, we saw Vidro early in the year ground out a ton, which didn’t work for him at all, and then start to lift it a little more and have a lot more success. So obviously, with only 79 plate appearances under his belt, it’s still too early to pass judgment, but what we’ve seen so far is not good.

I’ll focus on the big swing, since the walks/strikeouts are within a few plate appearances. He’s hitting a lot more fly balls, and not well.

His G/F ratio stands at .92, the lowest of his career. His line drive percentage is about the same, his ground ball percentage is way down (38.1% compared to last year’s 50.8% and a career average of 48.7%) and it went straight to fly balls – 29.7% up to 41.3%

The result’s been the ugly line you see now: .208/.278/.319 from the team’s DH.

Moreover, if you want to slice the data even further, his stats are propped up by Pepe’s success in 17 at-bats against lefties, where he hit .353/.389/.588. Against righties, Jose’s only putting up a .164/.246/.236. Maybe they should just have Pepe bat all the time.

Of course, David Ortiz is hitting .160/.267/.240, so we can take some solace from that. And you can pretty easily see what’s happening to him, too — his line drives are down, turned into ground outs, and when he hits line drives he hasn’t hit them hard enough to get over fences.

But that’s besides the point. Vidro is slow enough that he can’t make a living slapping the ball down and running to first as fast as possible, like Ichiro might — and here please cross-apply all my arguments last year on why his infield hit rate wasn’t sustainable. When we saw him successful last year, it was when he was getting his hits by spraying the ball into the shallow outfield and occasionally legging out a double once in a while.

If it’s a correctable problem, we can hope that Pentland’s working on it with him, trying to get Vidro to stop beating the ball into the ground, or find some kind of swing issue they can work on. I’m hoping.


40 Responses to “Jose Vidro’s terrible start, Pepe Vidro’s success”

  1. Chris on April 22nd, 2008 9:06 am

    Or we could sign someone else to DH, bench Vidro and avoid his option for next year. Ah wishful thinking.

  2. Colm on April 22nd, 2008 9:10 am

    Or pick up two no-hit good-defense corner outfielders (preferably right-handed) DH Ibanez and bench Vidro and Wilkerson.

  3. Mike Snow on April 22nd, 2008 9:14 am

    With the current roster construction, I believe the way to have Pepe bat all the time is to call him Greg when a righthander is pitching.

  4. jspektor on April 22nd, 2008 9:17 am

    [no question]

  5. joser on April 22nd, 2008 9:22 am


  6. jspektor on April 22nd, 2008 9:23 am


  7. jspektor on April 22nd, 2008 9:24 am


  8. Mere Tantalisers on April 22nd, 2008 9:36 am

    Pentland might want to hire an assistant – he’s got a lot of work to do, mostly with those lineup slots that should least require his attention.

  9. Some Dude on April 22nd, 2008 9:41 am

    After all this talk about our DH spot I am finally onboard with the “bench Vidro, DH Ibanez, Get new LF” crowd. I cringe a little every time someone slaps one into the LF corner as it is. We need somebody with wheels out there more than we need another Professional Hitter®

  10. cwel87 on April 22nd, 2008 9:45 am

    Kenny Lofton to LF, DH Ibanez, bench Vidro.

    Or, if we want to stay within the organization, Jeremy Reed to LF, DH Ibanez, bench Vidro.

    Anyone but Vidro. Anything but Vidro.

  11. JI on April 22nd, 2008 9:56 am

    According to Rosenthal we are kicking the tires on Frank Thomas (I’d use Reed or go after Lofton, but hey anything is better than Turbo).

    Also (if someone knows the answer),


    Vidro was Hargrove’s guy, so the powers that be aren’t overly attached to him, meaning there’s a realistic chance he could he cut if he doesn’t get his **** together.

  12. galaxieboi on April 22nd, 2008 10:08 am

    I’m guessing Vidro gets a slightly longer leash than Wilkerson, due to Pepe’s “good” year last year and his history of success.

    If Bavasi were to suddenly change to the way he manages the roster I’d be shocked based upon what we’ve seen of him here and in the Big A.

    I’m gonna get flagged for this off-topic bit but [deleted, off topic].

  13. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on April 22nd, 2008 10:15 am

    Sady, I am not overly optimistic. We all remember the failed Carl Everett experiment. The M’s didn’t get rid of him until late July. He was still better than Vidro is now (am I really saying this?), however, and put up a .227/.297/.360 line, with 11 HR’s and 33 RBI’s through 92 games (92 games!). Through 20 games, he was hitting a HUGE! .220/.370/.441. Vidro looks really bad even compared to that with his 208/.278/.319 line through 20 games. Everett also was thought to be good for 25 HR’s in a season. That said, Vidro is a “professional hitter” who “did a good job for us last year,” so maybe last year’s war will give him a longer rope . . .?

    The M’s were also something like 7-13 and not expected to do anything. My guess is they give Vidro to the second week in May before they regularly hit him only against lefties (barring an improvement, of course).

  14. Panev on April 22nd, 2008 10:35 am

    Raul in left just does not work defensively. Too many balls are not getting caught.

    The value of having a big left field is lost on not having someone to cover the area.

    While there are always extra bases taken, there has to be at least one fly a game that is not caught.

  15. Librocrat on April 22nd, 2008 10:54 am

    I think the SLG% numbers are off. You put his OPS, but his righty SLG% is .236

  16. C. Cheetah on April 22nd, 2008 11:17 am

    There are some nice swings over at Greenlake…maybe Jose can play with those during the game???

  17. Sentinel on April 22nd, 2008 11:21 am

    Dead horse be damned!

    I just wish this organization would realize the liability that a .208/.278/.319 hitting DH really is. That, and that we have a perfectly good DH playing a poor left field.

  18. Evan on April 22nd, 2008 11:34 am

    Librocrat’s right. Vidro’s only hitting .164/.246/.236 as a lefty, not the .164/.246/.482 you claim.

  19. DMZ on April 22nd, 2008 11:41 am

    I was just going to fix that and someone fixed it for me. Sweet.

  20. Mike Snow on April 22nd, 2008 11:42 am

    We moderators aim to be of assistance wherever we can.

  21. DMZ on April 22nd, 2008 11:46 am

    .482 being his *OPS* as a lefty, of course.

  22. Mat on April 22nd, 2008 11:50 am

    So this is what tends to happen to a player with a 38% collapse rate and 21% attrition rate? Interesting.

  23. DMZ on April 22nd, 2008 11:51 am

    Fun side note: it’s Pepe that Bavasi recognizes in the commercial.

  24. slescotts on April 22nd, 2008 11:58 am

    I think we ought to consider going after Coco Crisp, sending Wilkerson out of town, moving Ibanez to DH and bringing up youth.

  25. Evan on April 22nd, 2008 12:03 pm

    I think we ought to consider going after Coco Crisp, sending Wilkerson out of town, moving Ibanez to DH and bringing up youth.

    Lofton’s available.

  26. slescotts on April 22nd, 2008 12:05 pm

    Crisp is an insurance policy and liability to the Red Sox. Jacoby is a fan favorite, just a bit untested during a full season. Crisp is that nice, previously -owned Lexus will be undervalued in the ‘hot, new thing” market. Wilkerson is an El Camino with body rust and a broken door. Sure it sort of runs, it also might need a new head gasket and doesn’t appear to have the ‘pep’ it used to. Vidro, not sure what he is… Any suggestions on the make/model and ‘mechanical’ state/descriptions of car for each mariner on our roster?

  27. MarinerDan on April 22nd, 2008 12:17 pm

    On top of everything else, Vidro would not win the moustache contest I hear is brewing in the M’s clubhouse.

  28. fetish on April 22nd, 2008 12:18 pm

    I’d be good with Lofton.

    He’d be a defensive upgrade in Left Field [although I’m not convinced that Ibanez has cost us as much as USSM authors have maintained], and a hitting upgrade over Vidro.

    Then again, we could have Adam Jones in left, George Sherrill as our LOOGY, Ibanez at DH, and not have to worry that Bedard wasn’t in the rotation.

  29. planB on April 22nd, 2008 12:33 pm

    Then again, we could have Adam Jones in left, George Sherrill as our LOOGY, Ibanez at DH, and not have to worry that Bedard wasn’t in the rotation.

    Ibanez to DH is something that could happen, undoing the Bedard trade is not.

  30. nickwest1976 on April 22nd, 2008 12:38 pm

    I have been a big proponent of Lofton but I would actually be for giving Jeremy Reed a shot. He would be a very good defensive left fielder and he has decent speed and is a left handed bat. He won’t hit any worse than Vidro but would give us better defense and we could then move Raul to DH.

    I know Tacoma does not equal Seattle by any means but I think the M’s need to see what they have in Reed once and for all. If he doesn’t pan out, Lofton is out there or they can make a trade.

    I think Frank Thomas would be a good signing too but I agree with USSM that it’s not a slam dunk as we are then forced to keep Raul in LF.

  31. Steve T on April 22nd, 2008 12:51 pm

    I have a sure-fire batting tip for Vidro to get his swing back.

    Practice it in a new job as batting-cage instructor at a youth camp back in Puerto Rico. Or Yakima. Or Shoreline. Just anywhere but Safeco Field in a Mariners uniform.

  32. nickwest1976 on April 22nd, 2008 1:00 pm

    Another idea is to put Balentien in RF and Reed in LF, Raul to DH.

    Balentien had a .362 OBP last year, a .871 OPS and stole 15 bases in Tacoma last year.

    Reed had a .354 OBP, a .806 OPS and stole 14 bases in Tacmoa last year.

    Putting these guys in the outfield would really imporve our team defense and their bats in the lineup would add more team speed. Reed can’t be any worse than Vidro and I think Balentien could be a big upgrade over Wilkerson.

    If the M’s are building around pitching then they should also focus on defense, team speed and getting younger. These moves would be in line with all of that.

    The rotation looks really good so go with defense and some more youth and see what happens. If the moves aren’t panning out in a month or two, they can swing a deadline deal for a veteran player.

  33. slescotts on April 22nd, 2008 1:13 pm

    Deadline deal might raise the perceived value for a veteran. That could get us into trouble again. Move now. Go after somebody today, that’s my suggestion.

  34. slescotts on April 22nd, 2008 1:18 pm

    We have a history of over paying for the ‘perceived’ value of a ‘veteran’ as a means of addressing immediate need. I say we go for somebody now. For speed, defense, passable/upgrade in offense (not a homer machine) Coco Crisp. Play him in LF, move Ibanez to DH… Or get Lofton. Just do it now, while it’s a better deal and there are fewer teams possibly in the mix. Look at B’more, it’s not AJ that’s bringing in the offense. Things will settle out and the standings will move towards what we ‘expect’. At that point, there will be a bunch of teams trying to reclaim their previous place in the standings. At that point, Lofton gets expensive, Jacoby pans out or pans… Money, contracts and trades will be totally off-kilter. Sign now for June/July, that’s my opinion.

  35. cwel87 on April 22nd, 2008 3:36 pm

    I’d prefer if we avoided any type of deadline deal, because teams will be inquiring about Triunfel. And God help me if we lose him.

  36. the other benno on April 22nd, 2008 5:02 pm

    Another idea is to put Balentien in RF and Reed in LF, Raul to DH.

    Balentien is injured.

  37. galaxieboi on April 22nd, 2008 5:15 pm

    Balentien is fine, physically. The concern with him is how he’d hit in Safeco. Right-handed pull hitter…

  38. Tuomas on April 22nd, 2008 10:51 pm

    galaxieboi- Wlad mangled his knee last night.

  39. msb on April 23rd, 2008 8:00 am

    it’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!

    Balentien hurt his knee, and it is better.

  40. galaxieboi on April 23rd, 2008 8:46 am

    galaxieboi- Wlad mangled his knee last night.

    Yeah, I read the story about him sliding. I also read msb’s linked article earlier.

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