Royals' Guillen shut down for the year

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Jose Guillen told Enrique Rojas of that he will miss the rest of the season:

“I won’t play anymore for the rest of the season to recover well
from the injury,” Guillen told Rojas Saturday on the phone from Kansas

“It’s a team decision, I feel bad sitting down while my teammates are playing hard on the field,” he added in a text message.

Guillen just returned from the disabled this week after missing six weeks due to a torn ligament in his right knee, but he left Wednesday’s game against the Athletics with pain in his right hamstring.

The 33-year-old outfielder has been a massive disappointment this
season, batting just .242/.314/.367 with nine homers and 40 RBI. Two
lengthy stints on the disabled list have limited him to just 81 games.
It’s no surprise that the Royals find themselves second to last in the AL in runs scored and home runs.

While it’s been a down season for Guillen any way you slice it, perhaps the most troubling aspect is his regression against southpaws.

Entering the season, Guillen had the following splits:

.281/.334/.482 vs. LHP

.270/.318/.433 vs. RHP

In fact, Guillen had recently earned the reputation of owning left-handers, hitting
them to the tune of .330/.394/.593 since the start of the 2007 season,
however, 2009 has been a very different story:

.181/.245/.309 with four home runs and 9 RBI vs. LHP

.273/.348/.396 with five home runs and 31 RBI vs. RHP

As always, beware of small sample sizes (he had only 99 at-bats
against southpaws in 2009), but coupled with his rapid deterioration,
the Royals have every reason to be wary as they prepare to pay him $12
million in 2010.

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.

But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.

To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).

According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.