Tweet about Brandon Phillips’ low on-base percentage and he flips out and calls you names. Talk to Mark Trumbo for a little while and he brings up his low OBP and says that it’s a weakness in his game he’s working to improve:
“I understand it,” Trumbo said of getting a bad rap for his on-base percentage. “When I’m hitting well, I take a lot of walks. And when I struggle, I don’t. Pitchers are going to come at me … the new-age fans are probably not going to be too terribly thrilled with a player like me … I don’t think it’s been a tremendous year. But when you break certain things down, as much as a struggle as in my mind it’s been at times, I still have quite a bit to show for it.”
Self-awareness is the new inefficiency.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.