Monday, June 25, 2007

Wither Jay Gibbons?

"Believe me, I understand getting booed."

- Jay Gibbons

He ought to. The fans have really given it to him this year. He has also seen his playing time diminish and Rick Dempsey has threatened to use "domestic violence" on him if he doesn't start hitting.

It's been really bad for Jay Gibbons this year. It's so bad that if Freddie Bynum got all Jay's at-bats, the lineup would be appreciably better. He's barely outhitting Paul Bako.

Jay has never been the most patient of hitters (I always thought that the propensity to take a few more walks would make him a pretty fearsome slugger) but he always had enough pop that I have defended him. A guy who can OPS in the .780's is valuable, right? Even if he doesn't start everyday, you'd have a hard time replacing that kind of production.

Those days are gone. Jay says he's healthy. But he still hit only .197 in April and .152 so far in June. I figured those would be career lows but as it turns out they aren't. Jay has hit sub-.200 for a month a few times before (I knew he was steaky but not that streaky.) so that leaves hope for a rebound in July. But...

The power outage that seems to be affecting most of the lineup this year has caught up with Jay too. Only 3 HR and slugging .320. If he was getting regular playing time, he would be on pace to set a career high in strikeouts.

Jay turned 30 this season and sometimes that spells the beginning of the end for marginal but useful sluggers like Gibbons. Anybody remember Rico Brogna, journeyman first baseman? Check out his career after 30. Another guy was 60's 1B-OF Lee Thomas. Scary similarites to Jay in their career trajectory and both players' production fell off the table after they hit 30.

Better get to hitting Jay, Rico Brogna is breathing down your neck....

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