So What the Heck Happened to the Mariners Offense in July? (Part 4: New Blood)

hart1== As we said … Oops ==

The single main difference in playing time from June to July was Corey Hart going from zero plate appearances to getting 7.4% of total plate appearances.

And, arriving on July 25 was Kendrys Morales who started every game thereafter and ended up with 2.6% of team PAs.  [Every-day regulars like Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano got around 11%.]

But, although Hart had hit four home runs in April with a .213 ISO for that month, he didn’t come close to that in his stint that began on July 4:

13-for-64 | 3 doubles, 0 triples, 0 HR | 5 BB (7.1%), 17 K (24.3%)

.203/.257/.250

ISO = .043

And how does that compare to the career norms for Hart?

Year Age Tm PA HR% XBH% X/H% LD% HR/FB
2006 24 MIL 256 3.5% 9.4% 36% 18% 9.5%
2007 25 MIL 566 4.2% 11.7% 44% 17% 10.7%
2008 26 MIL 657 3.0% 10.8% 43% 18% 7.4%
2009 27 MIL 472 2.5% 8.3% 36% 16% 7.1%
2010 28 MIL 614 5.1% 11.2% 44% 21% 13.4%
2011 29 MIL 551 4.7% 10.0% 39% 19% 14.0%
2012 30 MIL 622 4.8% 11.1% 45% 19% 13.2%
2014 32 SEA 230 2.2% 5.7% 31% 23% 5.7%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/13/2014.

 

There is no comparison.  July-2014 Hart was a cipher.  The sharp drop in HR/FB (down to a middle-infielder rate) is not an anomaly.  His extra-base hit rate is also down, as is his rate of XBH as a percentage of all hits.

Clearly, Hart was not connecting with the ball.  He was a singles hitter with a high K-rate and not many walks.

In other words, he was a really bad singles hitter.

===

And Morales?

Well, he only got into six games, but:

2-for-22 | 1 double, 0 triples, 0 HR | 1 BB (4%), 6 K (24%)

.091/.160/.136

ISO = .045

Compared to Morales’ career history?

Year Age Tm PA HR% XBH% X/H% LD% HR/FB
2006 23 LAA 215 2.3% 7.4% 35% 18% 6.7%
2009 26 LAA 622 5.5% 12.7% 46% 16% 14.1%
2010 27 LAA 211 5.2% 7.6% 29% 20% 13.9%
2012 29 LAA 522 4.2% 9.4% 37% 18% 13.9%
2013 30 SEA 657 3.5% 8.7% 34% 23% 10.1%
2014 31 TOT 234 0.9% 7.3% 35% 21% 2.5%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/13/2014.

===

There’s reason for a bit more optimism about Morales, given that his XBH% has not nosedived and he seems to be picking up the pace a bit in August.

But, in terms of diagnosing July, it is clear that his failure to produce during that month was part of the problem.

===

Nevertheless, it wasn’t just that the two veterans who were supposed to shore up the attack didn’t deliver.

The whole lineup was delivering a steady stream of ground balls and weak flies, as we’ll see in Part 5.

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