Wednesday, August 20, 2008

This is not rocket science

Seems like a pretty popular topic for debate all over the place recently is the slumping of Ryan Doumit and Nate McLouth. Since they're two of three best hitters left on the team (yes, I'm including Adam LaRoche), their slumping has a lot to do with the recent dearth of offense we've seen from the Pirates. They needed to step up in the absence of Bay and Nady and they really haven't. We all knew the schedule in August was going to be brutal and we've certainly faced a tough stretch of pitchers, but I think that the answer is a little easier.

Ryan Doumit 2006: 235 total plate appearances, 21 total games caught
Ryan Doumit 2007: 258 total plate appearances, 41 total games caught
Ryan Doumit 2008: 354 total plate appearances, 81 total games caught

Nate McLouth 2006:
297 plate appearances
Nate McLouth 2007: 382 plate appearances
Nate McLouth 2008: 549 plate appearances

If you spend two seasons as a bit player, suddenly playing every day is something that's going to wear you down. Both Doumit and McLouth have already shattered their recent plate appearance figures. Doumit's doing it at the physically demanding position of catcher, which is a position he's spent very little time at since 2005. I would love to see both of these guys catch a second wind and finish the season strong, but if it doesn't happen it's not going to be the end of the world.