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