How to Slump and Still Create Runs
Jayson Werth is in a slump that has encompassed his last 35 plate appearances. He looks completely lost at the plate, having notched only one hit in that span and struck out 14 times. There’s no way Werth has helped the Phillies at all during his slump, hitting fifth in the lineup, right?
Well, yeah, there is a way. He has drawn six walks and been hit by a pitch, and has also stolen one base in one attempt. That’s right, while Werth was hitting .042 prior to today’s game with the Brewers, his OBP was at .250. Further, Werth has driven in four runs: two with his only hit in 35 PA on September 22, and two more with productive outs in each of the last two games against the Brewers.
As an example, when Jimmy Rollins went hitless in 31 PA between June 19 and July 1, he only had an OBP of .129. Players like Werth, who can draw a walk (he’s second only to Chase Utley in that area), can continue to earn their spot in the lineup even when they’re taking some awful cuts at the plate.
They say speed never slumps. It does, but humoring that, neither does intelligence, and Jayson Werth has shown in his three years with the Phillies that he is a very smart hitter with his ability to work counts and draw walks. Werth will soon emerge from his slump, but in the meantime, Charlie Manuel can still feel justified in writing his name on the lineup card.