Dog bites man, Vidro is terrible and shouldn’t be hitting #4
That’s Vidro’s line when he was written into the cleanup spot tonight.
What kind of protection is this supposed to be? You could not find a worse non-Vidro hitter to bat behind Ibanez without taking a Tony Pena Jr-type player who plays a premium defensive position.
Johjima’s hitting worse than Vidro, but not by much. Where’s he batting? 6th, rarely, 7th, more often, 8th most of the time.
Yet there are other fans who may have it worse. Who’s as bad as Vidro, offensively, on other teams? Bartlett, in Tampa. He bats #9. That’s good, makes sense… Michael Bourn, in Houston. He bats #1. Gathright bats #1 or #9. Freddy Sanchez bats first or second.
Vidro’s terrible. He’s not protecting anything, no matter what Riggleman says. The essential proposition of protection is that by being in front of a good hitter, the protected hitter sees more fastballs because — well, it starts to break down in practice, and there’s not a lot of evidence that protection does much for even the best hitters.
But just dwell on the insanity of this for a moment. The manager is claiming that the performance of Ibanez is improved by having one of the worst hitters in the major leagues, one with absolutely no value at the plate, behind him.
To the reputation question: how long, exactly, are we supposed to believe that teams will pursue a poor strategy because of old information? Every team’s employing video guys, advance scouts, and producing reports for their pitchers on how to go after each hitter.
Vidro’s probably just reads “throw pitch”.
Or one word: “Done.”
Are we really supposed to believe that other teams are producing scouting reports that read “Was once kind of good ten years ago, be careful! Don’t be afraid to walk him instead of giving him something he can put into play for an out.”
No. Of course not. It’s absurd. If that were true, and Vidro’s fearsome reputation helped him hit better, he wouldn’t be at .217/.265/.316.
But really — how long? Are we talking about his fearsome 2007, when he hit .314 and drew some walks with no power to be a little above league average (as a DH)? Or is this the remnant of his 2001-2003 run, when he hit some home runs to go with his doubles?
Meanwhile, Vidro, one of the worst hitters in baseball, gets middle-of-the-order at bats behind a rare productive offensive sequence. He gets more at-bats than the guys behind him who are more productive… like Reed, for instance, who at .260/.322/356 is a substantially better hitter in every sense even with that unimpressive line.
Batting Vidro at #4, even thinking that Vidro at #4 is defensible, requires someone to hold a set of beliefs that are variously long-disproved, unbelievable, wishful thinking, and deluded.
Unless they’re losing on purpose. If so… well played.