Thursday, August 17, 2006

Hinske Joining the Sox

So it appears that the Sox have acquired Eric Hinske from the BJs. I’m not sure what the plan is for Hinske, but he should be a pretty decent pickup. He’s still relatively young at 29 and has become a respectable player. His OBP this year is .353 and his SLG is .513, which is quite good. I actually had him on my fantasy team for a short while during a recent hot stretch, but he hasn’t played much lately and when he has, it hasn’t been especially good. His average has dropped 13 points in his past 10 games to .264, closer to his career average of .259. His home and away splits are nearly identical, which is good. He had a great June and July, with an OPS of over 1.000, but August has dropped to half of that. His OPS at Fenway from 2003-2005 was .888 and this year it’s 1.167 in 12 at-bats. The troubling thing is that Hinske is another platoon player. His OPS against lefties this year is a frightening .499 in 37 at-bats. Yikes.

How about his fielding? We’ve discussed Trot’s last-place zone rating in right field of .853. Hinske’s is way worse, at .816. The only person in the AL with as many games played in RF with a worse ZR is 64-year old Bernie Williams. And as we know, 3B is Lowell’s position. So I have to hope that Hinske will only be a part-time player to give guys a rest down the stretch. I hope. If that’s the case, I like the pickup.

Late addition: a friend points out that he thinks Hinske has hit well against the Yankees this year. It's true: Hinske has a 1.166 OPS against the Yanks in 2006… But .684 over the past 3 years. Let's hope this year he figured something out.

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