A Follow-Up To The Anemic Offense

My nerd-in-arms fellow writer, Matt Bandi, had a gruesome blog post about the Pirates’  anemic offense today.  Just today I was also combing through Fangraphs’ sortable stats for the Pirates and here’s some additional logs for the fire:

Going into the Tuesday night game, the Pirates’ batters have an overall triple slash line of .202/.249/.281 (530 OPS).  That translates into a .236 wOBA (an average hitter should be around .320 to .330) and a wRC+ of 46 (runs created in comparison to a league average figure of 100).  Ghastly.

If you parse the grains of sand, it gets even worse.  With the bases empty, the Pirates are .193/.226/.302 (528 OPS) and have a BABIP of .241 (a typical hitter is around .300 to .310).  The wOBA is .234 and the wRC+ is 45, representative of their overall numbers shown above.

With runners in scoring position, an occurence slightly above the frequency of a total eclipse of the sun, the Pirates are hitting .180/.282/.180 (462 OPS).  Their collective wOBA is .225, BABIP is .219, and a wRC+ of 39.  Again…ghastly.

Here’s an interesting little quirk from those two scenarios.  With runners in scoring position, the Pirates have a walk rate of 11.3% and a strikeout rate of 14.2%.  With the bases empty, when you would think they should be working the count to get runners on base and into scoring position, their walk rate is 2.9% and have a strikeout rate of 25.2%.  The Pirates are just hacking away ferociously when there is no one on, yet patient when they should be more aggressively looking to drive in runs.

To put this all into perspective, the offense will not remain this bad the whole year.  It just won’t.  Six or seven regulars are well below their established norms and will rise back to their averages.  Here are the overall numbers for the 2011 Pirates, who were certainly not an offensive juggernaut themselves:

.244 BA/.309 OBP/.368 SLG (677 OPS), .298 wOBA, .301 BABIP, and an 85 wRC+

It will get better.