Pat Burrell has received a lot of heat from Rays fans, including us, this season and rightfully so. After signing a two-year, $16 million free agent contract, Burrell has been a huge disappointment, hitting only .227-9-42 in 77 games. All of this has been magnified by the recent hot bat of Willy Aybar and culminated in Burrell recently being benched for a couple of games to work on his swing.
So how bad has Pat’s bat been? Actually, not that bad, at least recently.
Over the last 27 games, Burrell is hitting .240 with 6 home runs and 19 RBI. Seems fairly pedestrian, but let’s take a look at how that compares to his career average…
As you can see, his batting average and OBP are both still down a tad, but all other numbers are actually above his career-average.
So why do so many still want Burrell on the bench? There are probably a couple of factors: 1) His numbers were so bad in the first half of the season, no matter what he does now, his numbers still look awful; 2) We all heard that Burrell was a streaky hitter. We have seen his bad streak and we are still waiting for a hot streak, not an average streak.
Both of those reasons are based on what Burrell did in the first-half. It sucked. It was really bad. But it is also in the past. All that matters now is what he can do over the final 51 games. And these numbers indicate that Burrell is doing exactly what the Rays signed him to do. And if that is true, there is no reason Burrell should not be the most-days DH.