Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Curious Case of Sidd ... er ... James Saitou

The decline of James Saitou has been discussed at length this season.  The leading "theory" is that his weak push/pull tendency coupled with a spacious ballpark is depressing his numbers.

But here at home, I am inclined to think his awful season is just an anomaly.  He has been a pretty steady performer for 4+ seasons (his Milwaukee seasons are shaded in blue).  But his OPS vs LHP is 45% down over each of the prior two seasons.  Likewise, his performance on the road has dropped 38% over the prior season.

Perhaps most importantly, Saitou has created 51 fewer runs this season than last (84 vs 33).

For a team that has lost 33 games by one run (19-33 vs 29-25 last season), those 51 extra runs could come in handy.

I believe Saitou will return to being a .775-.825 OPS player next season.  He probably needs to be a 1B, though, and not a LF.

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