As I sit here stunned by the sweep at DC, many questions come to mind: What happened to the offense? What happened to Arroyo? How in the world were those scored hits Wednesday night?
But the biggest question I have is: Why all of the love for Ryan Freel? Has anyone looked at his stats lately? The guy is a menace to the baseball industry!
Really, take a look: in '04, his first year with significant playing time, he was league-average as a hitter, and played all over the place (more than 250 innings at 3 positions, and more than 85 at two others). Then, he dropped to an OPS+ of 90 for two years; still OK, considering his baserunning and the fact that most people thought him a plus outfielder (though I never did).
Then look at this year: His OPS hasn't been higher than .751 since the first week of the year, and hasn't been above .700 in over 2 months (May 24, to be exact)! Worse, both Narron and Mackannan have insisted on batting him leadoff, and his OBP is a stellar .307 and hasn't been above .321 since that same 5/24 game. Finally, he's seemed to have lost all judgement on the basepaths.
When you look at all of it, it sure looks to me like he's a detriment to the team. Popular whipping boy David Ross, who plays a much tougher defensive position, has the same OPS+ as Freel. Ross makes about $800k less this year, $500k less next year, and Freel is guaranteed an additional $4M in '09.
For a team like the Reds, that could end up being alot of money for a terrible player (which he is right now).