By the Numbers….Aramis Ramirez

The second of the three part series on the Cubs’ ‘Big Three‘ is focused on Lou Piniella’s clean-up hitter, Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez has become one of the best third basemen in the majors in both offensive production as well as defensively at the hot corner. While Ramirez still might ‘uncork one‘ from time to time, his defense has improved dramatically from his first game in a Cubs’ uniform. While his patience at the plate during last season led to a career high 74 walks, 24 higher than his previous career best of 50 set back in 2006….and in the process set a new career mark with a .380 OBP.

Ramirez put together a solid season at the plate despite two huge slumps and finished the year two home runs shy of the club lead (29 by Alfonso Soriano). However his line for the year showed a drop in production (.310/.366/.549/.915 in 132 games in 2007 – .289/.380/.518/.898 in 149 games in 2008). Ramirez is in the prime of his career (turned 30 on June 25th) with several more productive years ahead of him. But if Jim Hendry can acquire a left-handed bat with a little pop, moving Ramirez out of the familiar four-hole in 2009 might benefit the Cubs lineup throughout the season….especially if changes are made to the top of the order.

Before taking a look at Aramis Ramirez’ numbers from 2008, there are several factors that must be considered….

  • The injuries to the Cardinals pitching staff did not provide a consistent closer for comparison throughout the season. The CCO listed Ryan Franklin as the Cardinals’ closer.
  • The Marlins, due to injury and players returning from the DL, shifted their rotation several times throughout the season. Arguments could be made which pitchers were their top three during the season….and the Cubs did not face Ricky Nolasco in either of the two series against Florida.
  • The injury to Yovani Gallardo and the addition of CC Sabathia to the Brewers rotation….as well as the demotion of Eric Gagne and the promotion of Salomon Torres to the closer role for Milwaukee.
  • The injuries to the Braves rotation and bullpen led to the Cubs sweeping the season series against Atlanta.
  • The Nationals did not have a true closer in the last series at Wrigley. Jon Rauch had success against the Cubs early in the year and was traded before the deadline to the Diamondbacks.
  • Injuries decimated the Padres rotation as well and the Cubs did not face Chris Young in 2008. Greg Maddux finished the season as a Dodger but faced the Cubs both times as a Padre….the former Cub is listed as a member of the Padres for this comparison.
  • Alfonso Soriano missed the Cubs entire Interleague schedule last season and the numbers for Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee are what they put up against the Orioles, Blue Jays and Rays’ respectively….the pitchers’ listed are not necessarily the top three of each staff.

National League Central

Cincinnati Reds

  • Edinson Volquez – 2-for-5 with a walk and 2 strikeouts
  • Aaron Harang – 3-for-10 with a triple, a walk and 3 strikeouts
  • Bronson Arroyo – 1-for-8 with a walk
  • Francisco Cordero – 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts

Houston Astros

  • Roy Oswalt – 0-for-6
  • Wandy Rodriguez – 1-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout
  • Brian Moehler – 3-for-10 with a strikeout
  • Jose Valverde – 0-for-1 with a walk and a strikeout

Milwaukee Brewers

  • CC Sabathia – 4-for-9 with a double and a strikeout
  • Ben Sheets – 3-for-7 with 2 doubles, a home run and 3 walks
  • Manny Para – 0-for-3 with a strikeout
  • Eric Gagne – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Salomon Torres – 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a strikeout

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Ian Snell - 1-for-7 with a strikeout
  • Paul Maholm – 3-for-7 with a double
  • Zach Duke – 4-for-14 with 2 doubles, a walk and a strikeout
  • Matt Capps – 0-for-4 with a strikeout

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Kyle Lohse – 2-for-6 with a double
  • Todd Wellemeyer – 2-for-8 with a double
  • Adam Wainwright – 0-for-3 with a walk
  • Ryan Franklin – 3-for-4 with a home run and a strikeout

National League East

Atlanta Braves

  • Tim Hudson – 1-for-3
  • Jair Jurrjens – Cubs did not face Jurrjens in 2008
  • Jorge Campillo – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Tom Glavine – 1-for-1 with a home run and 3 walks
  • Rafael Soriano – Ramirez did not face Soriano in 2008 (No at bats in career against Soriano)
  • Mike Gonzalez – Ramirez did not face Gonzalez in 2008 (0-for-2 in career with 2 strikeouts)

Florida Marlins

  • Ricky Nolasco – Cubs did not face Nolasco in 2008 (2-for-4 in career with a home run)
  • Chris Volstad – 2-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Anibal Sanchez – Ramirez did not face Sanchez in 2008
  • Kevin Gregg – 0-for-1
  • Matt Lindstrom – 0-for-2

New York Mets

  • Johan Santana – Ramirez did not face Santana in 2008 (0-for-4 in career with 2 strikeouts)
  • Oliver Perez – 0-for-1 with 2 walks and a strikeout
  • John Maine – 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk
  • Billy Wagner – Ramirez did not face Wagner in 2008 (2-for-12 in career with 2 home runs, a walk and 4 strikeouts)
  • Luis Ayala - 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and a strikeout

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Cole Hamels – 0-for-6 with 2 strikeouts
  • Brett Myers – 2-for-7 with a home run and a strikeout
  • Jamie Moyer – 0-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout
  • Brad Lidge – 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and a strikeout

Washington Nationals

  • John Lannan – 0-for-6 with a strikeout
  • Odalis Perez – 3-for-5 with a home run and a walk
  • Jon Rauch – 0-for-1

National League West

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Brandon Webb – Cubs did not face Webb in 2008 (5-for-21 in career with a home run, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts)
  • Dan Haren – 0-for-3 with a strikeout
  • Randy Johnson – 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
  • Brandon Lyon – Ramirez did not face Lyon in 2008 (1-for-5 in career with a home run, a walk and 2 strikeouts)

Colorado Rockies

  • Aaron Cook - 0-for-3 with a strikeout
  • Jeff Francis – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Ubaldo Jimenez – 2-for-2 with a walk
  • Brian Fuentes – 0-for-1 with a strikeout

Los Angeles Dodgers

(Numbers from Regular Season)

  • Derek Lowe – 0-for-4 with 2 walks
  • Chad Billingsley – 1-for-6 with a strikeout
  • Hiroki Kuroda – 1-for-6 with 2 strikeouts
  • Jonathan Broxton - 1-for-1 with a walk
  • Takashi Saito – No official at bat – Walked in only plate appearance

San Diego Padres

  • Jake Peavy – 1-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
  • Greg Maddux – 2-for-5 with a double
  • Cha Seung Baek – 2-for-3 with a double
  • Trevor Hoffman – Ramirez did not face Hoffman in 2008 (0-for-4 in career with a walk and 2 strikeouts)

San Francisco Giants

  • Tim Lincecum – 1-for-7 with 2 strikeouts
  • Matt Cain – 0-for-1 with a walk
  • Barry Zito – Ramirez did not face Zito in 2008 (3-for-8 in career with a double and a strikeout)
  • Brian Wilson – No official at bat – Walked in only plate appearance

Interleague Play

Chicago White Sox

  • Mark Buehrle – 0-for-3
  • John Danks – 0-for-2 with a strikeout
  • Javier Vazquez – 1-for-5 with a home run, a walk and a strikeout
  • Bobby Jenks – 0-for-2 with a strikeout

Baltimore Orioles

  • Jeremy Guthrie – 1-for-3
  • Radhames Liz - 0-for-1 with a walk
  • George Sherrill – Ramirez did not face Sherrill in 2008

Tampa Bay Rays

  • James Shields – 0-for-3 with a strikeout
  • Scott Kazmir – 0-for-2 with a strikeout
  • Andy Sonnanstine – 1-for-3 with a strikeout
  • Troy Percival – Ramirez did not face Percival in 2008

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Roy Halladay – 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts
  • A.J. Burnett - 1-for-3 with a strikeout
  • Jesse Litsch – 0-for-3
  • B.J. Ryan – 0-for-1

Aramis Ramirez’ 27 home runs in 2008 were hit off the following pitchers:

  • Tom Glavine
  • Jose Contreras
  • Octavio Dotel
  • Scott Linebrink
  • Javier Vazquez
  • Johnny Cueto
  • Manny Corpas
  • Chris Volstad
  • Dave Borkowski
  • Chris Sampson
  • Scott Proctor
  • Dave Bush (2)
  • Ben Sheets
  • Luis Ayala
  • John Maine
  • Chad Durbin
  • Brett Myers
  • T.J. Beam
  • Phil Dumatrait
  • Jeff Karstens
  • Franquelis Osoria
  • Tyler Walker
  • Ryan Franklin
  • Shawn Camp
  • Marco Estrada
  • Odalis Perez

Aramis Ramirez’ Batter vs. Pitcher Page from Yahoo Sports

The third and final installment of By the Numbers for Derrek Lee will run later in the week. The rumors are still floating that Lee could be dealt this off-season….but after seeing his numbers and being able to compare them to both Soriano and Ramirez, will the Faithful still want Lee and his bad habit of grounding into double plays traded?

By the Numbers….Alfonso Soriano

Quote of the Day

"The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare." - Bobby Knight
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