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May 31, 2007

Abreu: Is Scott Kazmir To Blame?

Through April 23rd of this season, Bobby Abreu was hitting .306/.404/.375 in 72 At Bats.

On April 24th, Abreu faced Scott Kazmir (of Tampa Bay). In his three At Bats against Kazmir, Abreu struck out swinging, grounded out to short, and hit into a 1-6-3 double-play.

Including that game, since April 24th, Bobby Abreu is hitting .184/.254/.240 in 125 At Bats.

Yes, his batting average went from .306 to .184 and his OBA went from .404 to .254 - in terms of a before- and after-facing-Kazmir.

Most believe that Abreu's problem, during his slump, is that he's stepping in the bucket and opening up too soon. Is this something that facing Kazmir has caused? The numbers present an interesting case.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 31, 2007 01:55 PM

Comments

Steve, has their ever been a time where a particular pitcher starts a slump or is it the hitter that gets into a bad habit? I'm interested in knowing how you can point to one particular pitcher, when since he hasn't faced said pitcher again.

I understand the numbers, but that's like saying there was a big pink elephant in the stands that day and that was the start of Abreu's slump. To me there isn't a correlation, except for that one day. The next day is a new day and a new pitcher. Is Abreu having flashbacks or something when he's batting and seeing images of Kazmir in his brain? If that's the case, then I understand your point. But we need to get Abreu to a shrink quick then.

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 02:19 PM

Hey, bad habits all have a starting point. Maybe Abreu started to bail because of facing Kazmir and he's never been able to recover yet?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 02:32 PM

There once was a pitcher for the Tigers who would put Thurman Munson into a slump.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 02:51 PM

This is an easily testable theory.

Scott Kazmir faces hundreds of batters each year. If Kazmir puts people into slumps, then it would be the case that big chunks of the American League would be going into prolonged slumps as Kazmir moves his way through the schedule.

Now, while it's easily testable, I do have to include the disclaimer that, no I am not the one who has a database capable of doing the test. But, all one has to do is take a look at the fact that the league is not in one big collective slump, with more players being sucked into it each time through the Devil Rays rotation, to see that, if such a study is done, it won't show such a Kazmir slump effect.

Posted by: Lee Sinins [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 03:09 PM

Well, two can play this game! Let me give it a try:

Through April 20th of this season, Bobby Abreu was hitting .339/.405/.403 in 62 At Bats.

On April 21st, Abreu faced Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox. In his three At Bats against the Red Sox, Abreu struck out swinging, grounded out to short, and flew out to center to end the game.

Including that game, since April 21st, Bobby Abreu is hitting .178/.268/.237 in 135 At Bats.

Yes, his batting average went from .339 to .178 and his OBA went from .405 to ..268 - in terms of a before- and after-facing-Beckett and the Red Sox.

There. How did I do?

Posted by: ccaviness [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 03:21 PM

~~~If Kazmir puts people into slumps, then it would be the case that big chunks of the American League would be going into prolonged slumps as Kazmir moves his way through the schedule.~~~

This assumes that all batters feel the same way about facing Kazmir. But, that's not true. Still, one batter, alone, can have an issue with facing him - that may throw off his game.

It's still a game played by humans - and, with people, sometimes just one, or maybe a few, out of hundreds can be impacted by something that no one else has an issue with...

...for example:

You have a large swimming pool. There are 300 people in the pool. One of them goes underwater and cannot get up. He ends up in the hospital. No one else is hurt.

To then say "Well, it can't be the pool that was his issue...because if it was the pool, then everyone in the pool would have gone underwater and ended up in the hospital too" would be incorrect.

It was the pool - for that one guy. Sometimes things happen to just one person. It can happen.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 03:27 PM

ccaviness - Abreu walked twice in that game against Beckett...it's not like Josh over-powered him that day. Also, as a RHP, Beckett would not bring cause for Abreu to start stepping in the bucket....like a LHP, such as Kazmir, would do to him. Nice try 'tho!

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 03:35 PM

Was that the first and only time Bobby had faced Kazmir?

Posted by: SteveB [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 03:37 PM

I'm still not sold. Abreu has faced Kazmir twice before. In fact, he was 1-for-3 against him in the season opener on April 2nd, and 2-for-3 against him last June with the Philies.

Posted by: ccaviness [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 03:53 PM

This assumes that all batters feel the same way about facing Kazmir. But, that's not true. Still, one batter, alone, can have an issue with facing him - that may throw off his game.
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I would think that being in the league since 1996, Abreu would have learned to make adjustments. I'm confident that Kazmir isn't the first lefty to make Abreu "open up"

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 03:59 PM

~~~I would think that being in the league since 1996, Abreu would have learned to make adjustments.~~~

Of course, but, it does take time - sometimes. Hopefully he can "adjust" out of this soon.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 04:07 PM

~~~I'm still not sold.~~~

FWIW, me neither. But, I thought I would float the idea out there for the moment.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 31, 2007 04:09 PM