Salting the Wound: Josh Hamilton Edition
When Josh Hamilton left Texas for the LAA Angels during the last off season, he said God had a plan for him. It appears God is a Rangers fan, because Hamilton’s abysmal start to the season is making Jon Daniels and the Rangers’ brass look like clever devils for letting Ham-bone walk. (Or did he ascend?) The hated Angels signed the injury-prone slugger to a five-year, $123 million contract, and he’s playing like he couldn’t make varsity at Arlington Heights.
Last night was a pretty good snapshot of Hammy’s season. During the Angel’s 19-inning game against the F’in’ A’s of Oakland, Ham Slamilton went 0 for 8, with three strikeouts. He did have a sac fly RBI, but failed to reach base in all of his nine plate appearances. That was six hours and 32 minutes of sucking for Angel fans to enjoy from Josh. He became one of only 64 players in the designated hitter era (since 1973) to go at least 0-8 in a game.
Ranger fans won’t be surprised to find that his major bugaboo this year has been poor strike zone judgment and his tendency to swing and miss a lot. In just last night’s game, according to Baseball Prospectus, he had eight swings and misses. Just for some perspective, Marco Scutaro of the Giants has swung and missed only six times all season.
In sports nerd terms, Hamilsuck has been historically bad over the past year. The stats via Fangraphs bear out his ineptitude:
His O-Swing percentage, the stat that measures the percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside of the strike zone is 42.7 percent, which is second worse in all of baseball. He can thank Delmon Young for sucking just a little bit more.
Josh’s overall swing percentage is 57.9 percent, which is the second highest in MLB.
Ham-sandwich’s zone percentage, the number of pitches he sees inside the strike zone is 38.8 percent, the worst in baseball. And he makes contact with only 64.9 percent of those pitches, also the worst percentage in the league.
In other words, no one throws him strikes, and he swings anyway.
He really began his hackery last year. After getting off to a scorching start, he hit 236/.306/.446 in 543 plate appearances after June 1. That’s Matt Katta bad.
It’s easy to pile on Josh Hamilton right now. And that’s why I’m doing it.