5.14.2006

Beltre turning things around? Wake me up when he actually gets there ...

Everyone knows just how horrendous Adrian Beltre was to start the year -- things tend to get magnified a bit when a guy is making close to $13 million in the second year of an eight-year contract.

The Seattle Times has a story today that shows things might be turning around for Beltre. After his .189, two extra-base hit debacle of an April, it seems that May has been a bit better to "The Great Wall." He's batting .265 two weeks into this month with four doubles and a homer.

The problem? He's still not driving in any runs -- he's got only three RBIs over those two weeks to give him a grand total of nine on the year.

One might argue that it has at least something to do with runners being on base in front of him; after all, Richie Sexson is batting .201 and Carl Everett is batting .242. However, the numbers don't back it up. Get this: He's batting .128 in 39 at bats this year with runners in scoring position and -- this is really bad, so prepare yourself -- .091 in 22 at bats with runners in scoring position and two outs. This is a larger scale problem than just getting to be a little better hitter.

Those kinds of situations are precisely what Beltre was brought here for. He was supposed to be the centerpiece of the offense. He was brought in to be the No. 3 hitter, the kind of guy opposing managers and pitchers fear with the game on the line. What we've got instead is a below-average No. 6 hitter who we're all getting excited about because he seems to be "hitting the ball harder."

I won't be excited until I see him become the No. 3 hitter we're paying him to be. I haven't completely given up hope, and I do love watching him play defense -- his vastly underrated scoop in the 12th inning last night saved the game -- but it'll take more than a few hard hit balls and a stretch where he bats .265 with three RBIs to get me excited.

Some of my other favorite stories of the day:

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