Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Photo by Japanprobe.com

By Bruce Nye - AngelsWin.com Columnist

It has been reported on Monday the Los Angeles Angels signed Hideki Matsui to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million. The signing is dramatic because it means the end of the Angels’ career for Vladimir Guerrero, who had been the Angels’ designated hitter for the past two years.

So one of the Angels’ most popular players leaves the team and one of the most popular players (albeit in Japan) replaces him. A look inside the numbers shows that this move by the Angels is an upgrade statistically.

Last year Vladimir Guerrero had an OPS of .794, an OBP of .334 and hit 22 home runs and 75 RBIs (HRs and RBIs annualized due to his injury in 2009). Matsui’s numbers in 2009 were an OPS of .876, an OBP of .367 with 28 home runs and 90 RBIs.

The deal has all the look and feel as the Bobby Abreu signing; another former Yankee who signed with the Angels last year and has now signed a 3 year new contract.

Matsui will turn 36 next June and, like Vlad has had injury problems, however last winter. Matsui underwent knee surgery and was able to play in 142 games this last season for the Yankees. In addition, Matsui was named MVP of the 2009 World Series. The Angels are planning to use Matsui in limited situations as a back-up outfielder.

Here’s a closer look at some of Hideki Matsui’s numbers.

2009 vs. RHP: .271/.370/.465 - .835
2009 vs. LHP: .282/.358/.618 - .976
Career vs. RHP: .291/.375/.490 - .865
Career vs. LHP: .294/.359/.465 - .824

2009 at home: .265/.354/.462 - .816
2009 on road: .286/.383/.567 - .949
Career at home: .292/.366/.483 - .849
Career on road: .292/.374/.482 - .856

2009 with RISP: .303/.426/.521 - .947
Career with RISP: .301/.386/.481 - .867

2009 vs. Boston: .344/.394/.590 - .984 (just because it's fun)

Career vs. John Lackey: .286/.344/.464 - .808

There is a serendipitous effect to signing Hideki Matsui. Southern California has a very large Japanese population. In the past, everything Matsui accomplished for the Yankees was broadly disseminated in Japan and there is every reason that it will continue in Anaheim. So there very easily could be an improvement in attendance as a result of this signing.
Love to hear what you think!

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