February 4, 2004

Burks Is Back. Ellis Burks, 39, has signed a one-year deal to return to the Red Sox. Last season, Burks had surgery on his right elbow, but Jim Turner, his agent, says he is fine now. "He had bone chips that were compressing on the nerve in the elbow. ... [H]e saw the surgeon in Cleveland, and the doctors will tell you he is at full strength. He's hitting and has full flexibility. The elbow is not an issue in his mind [and] he expects an exceptional performance."

In 2003, Burks batted .322/.444/.576 (1.020 OPS) against left-handers. Of course, that was in only 59 AB, but his OPS against RHP was a dismal .674 and his numbers in 2002 tell a similar story. Looking at Burks's 2001-03 splits:
          AB   AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS

v LHP 305 .292 .384 .564 .948
v RHP 850 .285 .357 .505 .862
and looking at David Ortiz's .216/.260/.414 against LHP last year and his 3-year splits:
          AB   AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS

v LHP 320 .213 .265 .413 .678
v RHP 843 .289 .376 .573 .949
I think Francona should have a nifty little platoon arrangement. ... Speaking of Ortizzle, he says he'd like to play more first base and had some Pedro news: "The other night, we got together. It was one of our friend's birthdays. Tonight I'm going to go by his house. But one thing he told me the other day was that he's throwing hard. I was like, 'That's not really news'. He throws hard whenever he wants to. But he was really happy when he told me. He's in pretty good shape. He's happy, so everything looks good."

No comments: