Red Sox Nation is preparing to enter the first full year of a Mannyless lineup. While traveling secretaries and sweaty firstbasemen sleep easier, a lot of fans question what impact this Manny-free zone will have on the success of David Ortiz as a hitter. Our friends over at YFSF have done the research, and I think you’ll be surprised at the answer:
The conclusion: Ortiz has walked quite a bit more without Manny behind him, but he also has struck out less and hit home runs at basically the same rate (roughly one home run difference over a 600-PA season).
If Ortiz’s numbers fail to rebound to previous rates in 2009, it appears the absence of Manny Ramirez will be far less to blame than Big Papi’s own health and age.
A big THANK YOU to Paul over at YFSF for putting this all together. Red and I were going to compile the stats ourselves, but the whole “drinking problem” thing got in the way.
I echo Red’s post from last Friday: expect a huge year from the large man.