Carl Crawford is the best hitter in the National League.
Care to disagree?
He leads the Senior Circuit in batting average (.464), on-base percentage (.531), is tied for fourth in OPS (1.246), tied for eighth in runs (8) and seventh in stolen bases (2).
Less than 10 games into the season, we can cherry-pick a few more eye-raising stats.
Three Dodgers – Mark Ellis (4.83), A.J. Ellis (4.67) and Andre Ethier (4.32) – are among the top eight in pitches per plate appearance. The Mark McGwire effect? Maybe. Adrian Gonzalez is seeing the seventh-fewest pitches per plate appearances in the NL, 3.30, tied with some kid named Bryce Harper. Yet somehow Gonzalez has more walks (4) than strikeouts (3) this season.
As for Ethier, who turned 31 yesterday, he’s batting .429 against left-handed pitchers and .182 against righties. His lefty-righty splits were .222 and .325 last year.
On the flip side, Matt Kemp‘s batting average is .167.
Clearly, the guy doesn’t belong in the big leagues.
Here are some bullet points for a Thursday morning:
• Speaking of Puig, he left yesterday’s game against the Tennessee Smokies after three innings. MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick relayed via Twitter that Puig was removed because of a “mental mistake,” not an injury. According to Baseball America, “he had grounded out in his last at-bat in the third and ran relatively hard most of the way to first, pulling up slightly when he saw he was out.” We’ll probably learn more in the coming days.
• From the Sports Illustrated online Vault, a photo of Vin Scully in the booth at the 1975 Masters.
• I don’t know who created this, I don’t care: Hyun-Jin Ryu makes a good NWA-era Ice Cube.
• “Transatlantic” by Quantic puts a subtle new spin on a horn-driven jazz track: