Friday, July 02, 2004

The Decline Of Juan Uribe

To douse a little water on the enthusiasm created by the sweep of the Twins, I note that Juan Uribe's production has, quite predictably, declined since the beginning of the season. Part of this decline has been masked due to the fact that he's still gotten some big hits for the Sox - including a key 2-run homer on Monday in the Sox's 6-2 win. But there's no question there's been a drop off:

April 61 0.393 0.439 0.590 1.030
May 109 0.303 0.361 0.523 0.884
June 108 0.222 0.276 0.444 0.720

The .276 OBP in June is not going to cut it, especially since Juan tends to hit at the top of the lineup. His overall average is down below .290 now, and if he keeps this trend up, he'll be down near his historic .250 average. I hope the hot start he had doesn't convince Sox management that he can step in and fill Jose Valentin's shoes next year when Jose becomes a free agent. Jose is much too valuable offensively (and defensively, I think, he's pretty good). If Juan keeps this up, he may provide the compelling reason for keeping Jose.

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