Thursday, February 3, 2011
The More You Know: Jody Gerut
In what seems to be the "throw spaghetti on the ceiling and see what sticks" approach to left field, the M's went out and picked up Jody Gerut on a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. The curious thing about Gerut is he very well could be the starter in left field on opening day or he could be cut and playing in the system of some other team. Both outcomes are probably equally as likely. That tells you how fluid the left field situation is for the M's.
Gerut is an interesting player. His 2003 rookie campaign was actually quite good with a .279/.336/.494 line and 22 HR's in just 127 games. He was fourth overall in the rookie of the year voting, getting beat out by the likes of Rocco Baldelli and Angel Berroa, so I guess he should just be happy he's still around.
Just two seasons ago, he was a 3.1 WAR player with the Padres, hitting .296 with 14 home runs, 46 runs, and 43 RBI in only 100 games. And then he turned into a pumpkin and was terrible in 2009 and even worse in 2010. There are some indications that he was just getting a raw deal in the luck department (.239 and .231 BABIP vs. a .279 career) but in general, in a brief stint last season, he was striking out a ton, the balls he did hit were smashed into the turf (61% ground ball rate - even Ichiro was at 57%), he was reaching for more balls out of the zone and making contact far less than he used to.
But last year was just 32 games in the bigs, prior to that, he was tearing up the minor leagues with both the Brewers and Padres, so it's not like he is mailing it in quite yet.
It's also worth noting that when he was a rookie his manager was Eric Wedge.
Gerut has a history of being good and stinking horribly in cycles. So who knows, maybe this is a rebound year for him and we'll get a little lightning in a bottle.
Jody Gerut. Mariner Outfielder. Maybe.
Posted by Michael at 1:14 PM