You always hear about how happy, excited, and relieved a player is to finally join a contender. These stories write themselves following an in-season trade. Well, Alex Rios hasn’t had much fun in Chicago. In 97 plate appearances he’s hitting .140/.156/.215 for the White Sox which translates into a .165 wOBA – or -13.2 wRAA. His simple batting figures aren’t the only out of place numbers since changing addresses:
2009 Jays: .163
2009 White Sox: .075
It is only 97 plate appearances, meaning Rios is about three trips away from some Chicago-based columnist writing a piece proclaiming Rios as a player unable to adapt to the large market atmosphere.
Honestly it’s pretty hard to get worked about any of the numbers involved. None of them are good, none are encouraging, but remember John Smoltz and all the talk about 40 innings worth of work? Well Joe Mauer endured a 79 plate appearance streak that lasted from mid-August through early September in which he had an OPS of .804. In late April, Derek Jeter began a 84 plate appearance streak with a .643 OPS. Mark Teixeira’s first 95 plate appearances resulted in an .189/.358/.351 line.
I cannot definitively state that every single batter in the majors goes through streaks of 75-100 plate appearances where they experience what many label as slumps. However those were the first three players I checked and those are three very good batters whom each experienced a similar phenomenon just this season.
Poor timing? Absolutely. A sign of pressure getting to Rios? Probably not.