Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Bloops and Bleeps – the Deception of Aaron Miles

BJ Rains of foxsportsmdwest.com started this train of thought last night when he stated the following about Aaron Miles in his midseason report:

The scrappy utility infielder is hitting .314 since joining the Cardinals and has played surprisingly well in the field. While the popular opinion seems to be dumping Miles in favor of Tyler Greene, the veteran infielder Miles has done more than enough to deserve a spot on the roster.

Sorry BJ, because I do enjoy reading your work, but I completely disagree. You’ve failed to mention the fact that he’s only hitting .314 over 39 at-bats prior to last night, which means he only needed 11 hits (9 of which were singles) to pull off that amazing .314 average. Small sample size? Definitely. Consider this – last night Miles went 2 for 3, plating a run and taking an extra base on errors. His average this morning? .342!┬áThis is an April batting average in terms of plate attempts, and you are absolutely joking me if you think he’s going to hold that up┬áconsistently.

As for those 2 hits last night? They both looked like this. Yes, he made contact, but both of his hits were little bloops and bleeps that dropped just over the fielder’s head. 2 feet shorter or 5 feet farther and it gets a lot closer to being caught. Some of the most hard hit balls of the night were hit right at people, hence why Allen Craig and Brendan Ryan, both of whom had some of those harder hit balls, have no hits to show for it. Sometimes life just isn’t fair, boys.

Back to Miles – his defense is also deceptive. Go basic and you see he only has 2 errors. Another layer? He only has 23 attempts. Another layer? He has no range. He makes the plays on the balls hit to him, and sometimes he even makes them look flashy. However – last layer – his zone rating is negative. That means he’s actually getting to fewer balls than the average player. To reference – Brendan Ryan, for all his struggles this year, is still playing well above average at his position because he gets to balls that no one else on the team can snag. Because of this, he probably will have more errors because he often has to get up and make a fast play, instead of being a player that only is playing the balls hit right at him.

I won’t get too far into that, but the point is saying that Miles is playing surprisingly well in the field is overblown.

Let’s talk happy. Beating the stuffings out of Clayton Kershaw last night was awesome, and has set a good tone for the beginning of the second half. Let’s keep it up tonight when Jaime Garcia takes the mound at 7:15 PM!

Happy Friday and go Cards!!!

4 responses to “Bloops and Bleeps – the Deception of Aaron Miles

  1. Susan July 16, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    >WOW! Angela, you don't like Aaron Miles at all, do you? I think you disagreed with every single word Rains wrote in those 2 sentences.(Get up on the wrong side of the bed today?) You're gushing over Brendan whose season long struggles at the plate were empitomized last night when he popped out after swinging at a 3-0 pitch. You would have been better served leaving him out of the argument. GO CARDS!!!

  2. Angela W July 16, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    >I don't have a problem admitting I gave Brendan too much credit on this one – popping up on that 3-0 pitch was ridiculous. However, he also hit a line shot to the warning track that Manny made a nice play on (probably his only nice play of the night). I just couldn't wrap my mind around what BJ said about Miles. If it helps, I agreed with the rest of his article! :)

  3. Michael July 16, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    >Angela, I completely agree. Just because a guy has had a string of incredibly good luck — indicated by his otherworldly Batting Average on Balls in Play — doesn't make him a major-leaguer. Tyler Greene needs to play, and play every day, somewhere in that lineup. Miles has no purpose in the majors, and the sooner LaRussa realizes this, the better it will be.Unfortunately, LaRussa won't realize this until AFTER Miles hits .114 for about a month.But hey, at least they called up Allen Craig. Yes, it took an injury to Stavinoha (or Fat Miles as he's called on Vivaelbirdos), but still, we take our Baby Birds when we can.

  4. Chris July 16, 2010 at 11:27 PM

    >Why is Stavinoha not a Baby Bird?

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