Alexei Ramirez isn't anybody's idea of a typical No. 3 hitter, but an odd fit may have turned into a season-saver.
Since dropping down one spot in the order after the Alex Rios trade vacated the position, Ramirez is hitting .319/.327/.574 with three doubles and three homers in 11 games (49 plate appearances), after hitting just one homer over the first 112 games of the season.
"I feel really good in there," Ramirez said. "For me, that’s a special place to hit. You have the opportunity to expand. You can hit far. You can move the runner. You can bring run. You can single. You can do a little bit of everything, which I like."
Granted, this could merely be a convenient cover for his struggles elsewhere in the lineup, but it's still nice to Ramirez have a month that doesn't look the same as his others:
Then again, if you're somebody who looks at place discipline numbers first, he's had a wilder year than the rest of his numbers suggest.
- Addison Reed’s thrill unspoiled by Sox’ place in standings - Chicago Sun-Times
- White Sox notes: Velocity dip doesn't slow Reed - CSN Chicago
Addison Reed's velocity has been down 1-2 mph all season compared to 2012, so I would take any recent fluctuations with a grain of salt. Plus, he's been way more effective in his sophmore season because his slider has expanded his pitching zone. My favorite number -- his out-of-zone contact rate is only 51 percent his year, down from 72 the year before.
It does seem like Conor Gillaspie is hitting better than his line, but there's little better than this line:
Gillaspie admits he’s probably a little down on himself more than he should be.
- New sabermetric component, SABR Defensive Index, revealed for Rawlings Gold Glove Award - SABR
- Defensive rankings will help determine Gold Glove winners - latimes.com
- Has Rawlings finally fixed the Gold Gloves? - Baseball Nation
This is nice to see -- Rawlings decided to let its award evolve with the times by adopting a defensive metric that will account for 25 percent of the vote. Joe Maddon thinks its impact could be greater than that, as at least one manager will use the SABR Defensive Index to inform his thinking.
While Robin Ventura might expand his rotation or plan for his young pitchers to skip a start, John Danks wants to get as many cracks at September as possible.
Chris Cwik looks at Chris Sale's changeup and says that he's using it to great effect when he needs to get back into the count.