Reading Room: A.J., Pierre and Grimey

Over at Pale Hose Pariah, Erik breaks down A.J. Pierzynski’s lack of success on pitches throughout — and outside — the strike zone.
The conclusion is that he’s not enjoying success on any kind of location. FanGraphs says he’s not punishing any particular variety of pitch.
That basically means he’s in the same place Andruw Jones is, although they’ve taken vastly different routes to get there. Jones screws himself into the ground on every swing, where A.J. is protecting like it’s very quickly oh-and-two when he hasn’t even seen a pitch yet.
I think they both suffer from the same problem — bat speed. I don’t know if I have a good enough eye to spot when somebody’s swing is lagging, but Pierzynski was jammed by a hanging curveball on Saturday, and given how well that fits into his current profile, I’m thinking I’m not far off.
More getaway day links:
*J.J. offers praise for Juan Pierre, whose on-base percentage is his best since 2004. Ozzie Guillen does, too.
*Baseball America is keeping track of all notable signings, so we’ll see if the Sox came to terms with Matthew “Grimey” Grimes (fourth round) and Josef Terry (ninth round) by the deadline.
Update: Larry points us to tweets indicating neither Terry , nor, sadly, Grimes are signing. Change the channel, Marge…
*Mark Gonzales treated us to a rare-but-enjoyable feisty mailbag. Anybody know what’s behind this response?

Do you think they made a mistake giving up Daniel Hudson? His ERA is 1.13 in three starts? Look around the league at ex-Sox players — Gio Gonzalez, John Garland, Dan Hudson, John Ely and Clayton Richard!! It sounds to me Ken Williams has no interest in his farm system. It’s can you throw 100 mph or hit homers? We have won this year so far with, speed, and defense and also timely hitting, what do you think? Mitch Greenberg, Gurnee
They had no choice but to move Daniel because he was their biggest bargaining chip. I hated to see him go because he was a very mature kid for his age, and I think a lot of people overlooked that he jumped four levels in 2009. He will do very well as long as certain Phoenix media members don’t try to manipulate him.

I can’t even name one Phoenix media member, so I didn’t think it had the reputation of being a brutal market.
*Oral Sox has a new podcast up.

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hmm good to know in a draft that was kind of, meh we failed to sign two of the key players
i think terry was an 8th rounder but either way…
do or die time, hope the off day did wonders for the sox mind set and gave the bullpen some needed rest, this series is huge!!!!

Doctor Memory

Concerning Juan Pierre: the most-cursory look at his career stats shows that he’s a consistent performer. Fans tend to “want” more power, higher OBP, a stronger throwing arm than he can provide.
He’s not a knucklehead who fails to prepare, or loses focus – he’s a guy who gives superb effort, and produces about the same thing every year.
On the one hand, he’s no Rickey Henderson; on the other, he’s no Rickey Henderson.
When a team signs him, they know what they’ll get. If a team wants a power-hitting middle-of-the-order guy, or great left fielder, they must shop elsewhere.
In Pierre, they’ll get a guy who will hit .300, steal 40-or-so-bases, run down most balls hit to him, be ready to go every day, etc.. AND, he DOES put lots of pressure on a defense – at the dish, and on the bases. (Tough to quantify, but obvious to any observant viewer of the game.)
Maybe he’s some form of hybrid fourth outfielder. Certainly, once he’s lost a step, he’ll shortly thereafter be out of baseball. But, it seems to me that a team with 25 Juan Pierre-types will be one that puts forth maximum effort, utilizes its skills, and keeps focused over the course of a long season. If that alone doesn’t merit a sort of quiet appreciation, it must at least justify letting the man work without unmerited criticism from those ostensibly wishing him well.


He has stolen thrid base 12 times this year, the most in MLB. So there’s that.


third, dammit. I can’t type well on anyone’s blog.


So, there is an *actual* Christian Marrero Reading Room?

The Cheat

Re: Gonzo
I assume that is a Cowley-like shot across the bow of a former colleague. Gonzo did come from covering the D’backs.