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Entries in Magglio Ordonez (2)


Magglio's Power Outage

Magglio Ordonez isn't ready to retire. But, as Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports , interest is lukewarm at best in the 38-year-old who's coming off the worst offensive season of his career and rehabbing a fractured right ankle that knocked him off the Tigers' playoff roster.

Mags still produced at the plate as recently as 2010, when he slugged .474 and posted a 129 OPS+ in 365 plate appearances. But his power has vanished since he originally fractured his ankle sliding into home plate in July of 2010, ending his season. Ordonez slugged just .331 in 357 PAs last year, with a 74 OPS+ that put him in the same sordid company as Alcides Escobar and Jordan Schafer. Unlike those guys, Mags doesn't play up the middle and is wholly dependent on his bat to provide value.

In 2010, Ordonez was still a threat on inside pitches. He slugged .545 when pitchers tried to tie him up, nearly 100 points above the .458 league average:

Ordonez's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, 2010

But last year? Mags slugged just .369 versus inside pitches:

Ordonez's in-play slugging percentage by pitch location, 2011

Ordonez didn't suddenly starting hitting a bunch of ground balls, but the fly balls he hit didn't have any oomph on them. Mags' fly balls traveled an average distance of 278 feet in 2010, above the 270 league average. In 2011, however, his fly balls traveled just 256 feet.

Ordonez may well join Hideki Matsui and Vladimir Guerrero in the club of no-glove former sluggers who are forced into retirement due to waning power (I wouldn't stick Johnny Damon in that group just yet). Opening day is fast approaching, and it's slim pickings for greybeards with questions about bat speed and health.


Magglio Ordonez to return to the Tigers soon

Magglio Ordonez (DET) went on the disabled list on May 11th with a right ankle injury, and it looks like he's getting ready to return.  The injury really showed up in his overall numbers, especially fastballs.  He batted .146 with a measly .220 slugging percentage in 41 atbats decided by the pitch (195 total fastballs seen in 2011).  This is in stark contrast to last season when he hit .357 with a .567 SLG% on fastballs, good for 14th overall in 2010.

Magglio Ordonez
(Click to enlarge)

Ordonez's contact rate on fastballs was actually better this season before going on the DL, up from 88.3% in 2010 to 91.4%.  However, the balls he put in play haven't been particularly well hit.  The hit types he depends on for power (line drives, fly balls) were just not coming off fastballs this season.  He's only hit five fly balls and five line drives off the heater in 39 plate appearances so far.  However, he's already hit 23 groundballs and 6 popups (he popped up 8 fastballs total in 2010).  And his ground ball batting average is only .087 this season, suggesting Ordonez is not squaring the pitch up very well at all.

It's a small sample size, and there's no doubt his ankle problems contributed to his issues at the plate.  Without a strong right ankle, Ordonez would not be able to effectively plant and transfer power when swinging.  If he's fully recovered from that injury that he first received back in July of last season when sliding into home, his numbers vs. fastballs should begin to correct quickly.