Something to glance at quickly before the Twins go for a sweep of the Rangers this afternoon.
We've talked a lot about how certain players have contributed to the success of the Twins over the last month, including unlikely heroes Denard Span, Alexi Casilla, Brian Buscher and even Delmon Young. But since June 1st, check out Jason Kubel, and note the drastic changes for him across the board.
|March 31 - May 31||170||41||5||6||66||10||34||.241||.280||.388|
|June 1 - July 19||105||32||5||7||62||20||18||.305||.416||.590|
Those are some pretty dramatic splits, not just in power and contact but in patience and pitch selection as well. If these are the kinds of numbers we can get from Jason for the rest of the season, the middle of the batting order will be in good shape. Certainly, some of that success has come from how he's been used over the last month and a half, with fewer and fewer plate appearances versus southpaws against whom he's struggled. But just that he can hit right handers as well as he has is a very useful skill for an offense that lacks power.
More than the hitting skills, which we've always known Kubel has had, it's the patience at the plate that's been impressing me. It means he's laying off more bad pitches, more pitches he doesn't want to hit, and it might just mean he's able to identify the pitches that he does want to swing at. While it can be argued that this might just be the results of a small sample size, or a good stretch at the plate, I'm hoping it's something a bit more promising than that.
Jason has two and a half months to prove me right.