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Thursday, December 8th, 2016

SORIANO NOT POSTSEASON HERO

12

In an earlier comment here on Zoner Sports, valued reader dhaab (we think the d is for disagreement) mentioned that he thought Alfonso Soriano should receive some MVP votes. He said that Soriano “was the straw that stirred the Cubs drink this year.” I beg to differ.

Soriano will get some votes, but he should not even sniff any first place votes. His OPS is only .875 and that’s after a torrid Septemeber. He had a brutal April. He turned it on here in the last month or so, but we sure didn’t get 18 million worth or whatever he gets paid. His numbers are down across the board. I contend that Ramirez deserves more votes than Soriano.

Of course, if they make the postseason and Soriano comes up big then obviously he would be worth his salary. But his postseason numbers are terrible.

Soriano has participated in 3 postseasons with the Yankees. He has just 4 homers in 146 at-bats. He has struck out 45 times while walking only 8. His career postseason averages look like a backup catcher’s: .233/.287/.336. A grand total OPS of .623 in 38 games. Might it be because he can get away with hacking on lesser pitchers throughout the season but not against the cream of the crop? It might.

The Cubs have to get to the postseason first for Soriano to be hero, goat or other. And that’s certainly not a done deal yet.

  • PV

    I believe you accurately diagnosed why Soriano does not have post-season success – that hacking don’t play when every pitch is magnified, no first-pitch fastballs.

    I was thinking about this the other day – wasn’t there an 0-for-22 or something series for Soriano when he was with the Yanks? Those overall numbers do not surprise me.

    Anyway, first pitch in a few minutes…I knew this week would be uncomfortable.

  • dhaab

    All I can say is exactly when did the Cubs make a run to win the division? Was it during April or September? Just sayin’.

    I wouldn’t be too worried about Soriano’s historic bad numbers during the playoffs. Sometimes guys just don’t produce at certain times. Doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t ALWAYS be bad in the post season.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    “All I can say is exactly when did the Cubs make a run to win the division? Was it during April or September? Just sayin’.”

    They don’t weight the games any differently. That they are fighting to win this sorry division is pathetic. There isn’t a Cubs fan out there that doesn’t think he should have had a better year.

    He’s had 2 excellent months: June and September. Other than that it’s been bad or below average.

  • dhaab

    If you didn’t have Soriano this year, you probably wouldn’t be going to the playoffs.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    That’s really difficult to quantify. But I’ll try. Soriano does not even crack the top 20 in equivalent average. He is 11th (!) in Runs Above Replacement for NL Left Fielders. BP defines RARP as “A statistic that compares a hitter’s Equivalent Run total to that of a replacement-level player who makes the same number of outs and plays the same position.” He is 3rd on his own team in that stat.

    What does it all mean? Not sure. But I can say that if the Cubs had any other regular power hitter they’d be better off–at least during the 2007 regular season.

  • http://thewaywardbus.wordpress.com Mike O’Donnell

    I am one of those Cub fans who thought Soriano would fare much better. Zoner, can you pull up my stats prediction for him from March? I was underestimating because I didn’t think he’d 40-40 again like many pro prognosticators said he would, guys from SI, MLB.com, Street and Smith, Athlon, et al.

    How many of his homeruns were solo shots? About 85%. Ramirez has had more to do with them being where they are than anybody. Zambrano has been awful, Lee hasn’t been the Lee Cub fans expect, Derosa has been as advertised and that has helped. But Soriano being the reason they are nearing the postseason? Please dhaab. Your logic is as faulty as your Grammar skills.

  • dhaab

    Grammar skills? Please.
    How many runners has Soriano thrown out at the plate this year? I watch about half the games and I’ve seen him throw out a bunch of guys. I agree that Ramirez is just as important, but he doesn’t lead off and that is why I said Soriano is the straw that stirs the drink. You Cub fans don’t realize how fortunate you are to have the guy in the prime of his career. Enjoy it because he’ll be a ridiculously overpaid old man in a few years. Just like Muhammad and Agonleye of the Bears are now. :)

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Soriano is a terrible leadoff hitter, and his power is mostly wasted in that spot, as evidenced by his low total of RBI. 30 walks and an OBP hovering around .330 in 600+ plate appearances is brutal. The smartest thing the Cubs could have done all season would have been to put Soriano in the 2 hole. A guy like Theriot would benefit and so would Soriano if there was speed on base in front of him. Not to mention he would have Lee and Ramirez hitting behind him instead of Theriot or Kendall or someone else. Why bat your best power bat on the team behind the pitcher? It’s ridiculous when you think about it.

    I’ve also seen Soriano throw to the plate with no chance to get the guy at home and watch runners move into second base only to score on the next play. Little League stuff. Then there are the many baserunning errors, too numerous to cite.

    We agree on one thing: he will be a ridiculously overpaid old man in a few years.

  • dhaab

    This is an old argument, but if you look at Soriano’s lifetime numbers at different spots in the order, he performs remarkably better when batting leadoff. Don’t you think Pineilla already knows this? In fact, his career numbers when batting in a traditional RBI spot in the order are pretty bad.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    That doesn’t make him any better of a leadoff hitter. It just doesn’t stand to reason to bat a guy that hits 30-45 homers in the #1 slot. If Soriano is unable to bat elsewhere in the order, perhaps with all that dough he should hire a sports shrink. Cuz he doesn’t get on base enough to be a good leadoff hitter.

  • http://thewaywardbus.wordpress.com Mike O’Donnell

    CUBS WIN!!!!! IT’S OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2007 NL CENTRAL CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    WOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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