Monday, July 30, 2007

From OutWatcher Shidoin

Your fellow OutWatcher Shidoin writes in:

"For the edification of my fellow outwatchers, I went back and counted up the number of bunts our man Juan has made this year. 30. (I included 2 that may have been pop ups to pitcher) with 8 for hits, 18 for outs (inc. the 2 qestionable PU's) 2 sacrifices; (Don't get me started...) and 2 squeezes. These are not numbers that should encourage more bunting attempts! I was suprised it was only 30. It seems like every time I see him, he's attempting to bunt. "

Good work, Shidoin. I'm surprised, too.

The 18 bunts for outs -- do they include sacrifices? According to BB Ref, Pierre leads the league with 14 sacrifice hits.

What are the 2 sacrifices that you call sacrifices?

Final question: would any of this indicate that Juan Pierre should bunt with 2 outs and a man in scoring position?

Keep investigating! Your fellow OutWatchers want to know why Juan Pierre is bunting so much!


shidoin said...

No, the 18 does not include the 'sacrifices'.

Humma Kavula said...

We oughta count those, too. All too often, Juan bunts in the first inning -- clearly bunting for a hit -- but gets thrown out and credited for a sacrifice.

So Juan has something around 44 bunts attempts so far this year.

Does that sound right? A little less than once every other game?

shidoin said...

No, I counted 30 thru yesterday. It's possible I missed 1 or 2, but I was careful. 8 hits, 18 pure outs, 2 sac's, 2 squeeze plays; total outs could include the 2 sac's and the 2 squeezes, but I gave our man the benefit of the doubt.

As I counted, I didn't record the particulars of the sac's. I assume these were his patented 1st inning specials.

jimbilly4 said...

Where did you count these up? From the Outwatch posts? Clearly there are times Pierre bunted when Humma did not note it, except to record the out.

All of his sacrifices are bunts. Or nearly all. I can not 100% vouch for the sanity of the scorer.

jimbilly4 said...

You might want to take a quick gander at the Dodger Mailbag:

Which directly takes on the question,
"Why does Grady Little give so much playing time to Juan Pierre when the statistics for Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are better?"

Obviously this is an official Dodger web site and therefore they are going to be careful to toe the official line. Still it is irritating to find a sentence like this:

"It also seems that Pierre's horrible April left a lasting impression on fans who haven't really noticed that for the last couple of months he's pretty much done what the Dodgers were hoping he'd do."

Really? Let me update a previous post:

April: .274/.303/.319
May: .277/.311/.339
June: .279/.310/.315
July: .287/.327/.356

There is one game left in July. While April is his lowest OPS, his numbers are surprisingly consistent. Even his July numbers are not really statistically significant.

So as a hitter Juan is the same all year: bad. Now as a base stealer there is another story. He is truly deadly on the basepads nowadays, still stealing at over an 80% clip, much better than his career 74%. Too bad he can't get on base a bit more...

Humma Kavula said...

Thank you, JimBilly, for bringing that to my attention.

The only thing Gurnick said that made any sense was that the Dodgers did not pay Pierre $44 million to sit him on the bench. This is most assuredly true.

Everything else is irrelevant, wrong, or not about Pierre at all.

Q. Why is Juan Pierre so bad?
A. The team is in first place! Clearly they are flawless!

Q. Why is Juan Pierre so bad?
A. Sure, he was bad in April, but have you paid attention to what he's been doing lately? Neither have I!

Q. Why is Juan Pierre so bad?
A. Hey, everybody -- look over there! It's Rafael Furcal's injured ankle!

Even Josh Rawitch, who gets paid good money to spin a positive message for the Dodgers, does not try these lines of attack.

Humma Kavula said...

In 2005, in his last year with Florida, Juan Pierre put up this line:


which looks remarkably similar to his performance in July. Perhaps that's what Gurnick was referring to. Still:

1) He implies that Juan picked it up after a horrible April, but it wasn't until July; and
2) That's basically two weeks of hitting well followed by a week of not hitting at all, which doesn't bode well going forward; and
3) Regardless of whether it's in line with what Pierre's done in the past, it still isn't any good; and
4) It doesn't answer the question. Ethier and Kemp are both better hitters.

shidoin said...

In response to jimbilly4, as a loyal outwatcher I only counted the bunts that Mr. kavula called bunts. I know quite a few of Juan's 'sacs' are bunts, but if not noted as such they were not counted. I think, tho, that from the numbers presented, we get a pretty clear picture of his bunting abilities. what we don't get is WHY DOES HE KEEP DOING IT?

jimbilly4 said...

In Juan's Defense, if we took your numbers at face value they are not so bad.

8 for 30 is .267, not so great. But 2 of those are squeeze plays, definitely on the orders of the manager.

8 for 28 is .286, which is respectable if not actually great. It also wouldn't take much luck to improve that a lot: 10 for 28 is a .357 average.

One could add in that there is value in moving the runner over. Hard to judge, but an out that moves a runner is better than one that does not. No one out is even better, but I digress.

However, what dooms Pierre is exactly all those sacrifices, which were actually attempts to bunt aboard. This year he is at 14 sacrifices. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say five of those were ordered by the manager. You counted 2 already, so he is 8 for 35, a .229 average.

BTW - Juan is on pace for 22 sacrifices, the most of his career by far. It has been previously noted that Juan is not getting as many bunt hits as he used to. It is easy to see where they are going...

Andrew said...

FanGraphs has the count of Pierre bunts this year at 46, with ten hits. It's the worst bunt hit rate of his career. His infield hit rate is climbing up, I remember it was below four earlier, but it's still well below his career average. He'd be hitting around .295 if he were beating out his bunts the way he used to. Still not good, but the argument over whether he was any good would be more fun.