The Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award will be presented next month, which makes sense, considering that we’re down to our final day of this month.
The two leading candidates are Vladimir Guerrero and David Ortiz. One player looked like he was finished and didn’t draw a tremendous amount of interest on the free agent market. The other player looked like he was finished once the season began and dealt with all sorts of speculation about being benched or released.
The Orioles passed on Guerrero because of his declining numbers, concerns about his health and their insistence on keeping the DH spot more flexible. They wanted to rotate players into it, including Luke Scott, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold, rather than have someone like Guerrero or Jim Thome clog it up.
That was the plan, anyway.
Pie missed about three months of the season with a back injury and Reimold spent most of his summer at Triple-A Norfolk. But Scott emerged as MVO, so we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.
Guerrero hit .306 with 25 doubles, 25 homers, 106 RBIs, a .349 on-base percentage and a .501 slugging percentage in 523 at-bats as a DH. Ortiz hit .275 with 35 doubles, 31 homers, 100 RBIs, a .373 on-base percentage and a .535 slugging percentage in 499 at-bats.
Guerrero walked 29 times and struck out 56. Ortiz walked 79 times and struck out 139.
The ballot calls for members of the media to cast votes for first and second place. I just need to figure out the order.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Guerrero wasn’t a walk machine. He’ll swing at pitches behind his back and line singles into left field.
Scott batted .300 as a DH, according to the MLB ballot (more on that later), with 19 doubles, 23 homers, 54 RBIs, a .382 on-base percentage and a .573 slugging percentage in 330 at-bats.
I say “according to the ballot” because yahoosports.com lists Scott with three fewer at-bats as a DH, altering his stats to a .303 average, .384 on-base percentage and .578 slugging percentage.
In case you’re wondering, Scott hit .250 with one homer and nine RBIs in 68 at-bats as a first baseman, and .233 with two homers and six RBIs in 43 at-bats as a left fielder.
Maybe you weren’t wondering.
Thome hit .286 with 24 homers, 57 RBIs, a .415 on-base percentage and .635 slugging percentage in 252 at-bats. Adam Lind hit .245 with 26 doubles, three triples, 19 homers, 59 RBIs, a .302 on-base percentage and .433 slugging percentage in 473 at-bats. Hideki Matsui hit .263 with 21 doubles, 16 homers, 61 RBIs, a .354 on-base percentage and .433 slugging percentage in 418 at-bats.
AFL update: Catcher Caleb Joseph went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored in Scottsdale’s 13-9 win over the Peoria Saguaros. He’s hitting .368 in 19 at-bats.
Third baseman Ryan Adams went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. He’s batting .289 with one homer and 11 RBIs in 38 at-bats.
Greg Miclat is batting .297 in 37 at-bats. Xavier Avery is hitting .200 in 35 at-bats.
Reliever Kam Mickolio has allowed one run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts. Wynn Pelzer has allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, but he’s also walked seven batters to go with five strikeouts.