Thursday, April 21, 2011

The End of Cuddyer's RBI Drought

A weight off Cuddy's shoulders (Getty Images)
It finally happened last night.

The evil monkey on Michael Cuddyer's back was lifted when he got his first RBI of the season. Cuddyer hit a homerun in the second inning off of Zach Britton, the Orioles starting pitcher. It was a 1-0 two-seam fastball that Cuddyer planted in the seats to get his first homerun and first RBI of the season.

Cuddyer was in a daunting area before he got his first RBI. Going into last night's game the Twins had played 17 games and after last night's loss the team had completed 18 games. That is roughly 10% of the team's 162 schedule. A small sample size of games but still enough to consider the following information:

Michael Cuddyer was the only player in baseball with a minimum of 50 plate appearances that had yet to tally a run batted in. 

In every full season that Cuddyer has played since 2006, he has been able to collect 80+ RBI. His best season when it came to RBI's was the 2006 campaign when he racked up 109 runs batted in. The next season he saw a little slide and dropped down to 81 runs that he knocked across the plate. In 2008, he was only able to play in 71 games and that meant his RBI total decreased to 36 for the season. The last season at the Metrodome saw Cuddyer hit a career high 32 homeruns and that power helped to knock in 94 runners. The first season at Target Field saw his power numbers fall but he still managed 81 RBI.

The scariest thing might be to look at the numbers that Cuddyer is on pace for at this early point in the season. It may not be time to panic but it is time to be slightly concerned.
Current projected stats for 2011 (thru 4-20-11)
HR: 9
RBI: 9
H: 144
2B: 27
R: 45

Needless to say, those are all numbers that the Twins will need him to improve as the season progresses. As mentioned earlier, the regular season is only 10% over. That means there is a lot of baseball left to play and Cuddyer has plenty of games left to improve his numbers. 

When it comes to weird streaks like this one, the hardest thing to do is to get the first one that pushes you over the hump. Cuddyer will be able to be more relaxed at the plate and hopefully this leads to better results on the field.

It's time to start a new streak for Cuddyer. How many games in a row can he get an RBI? 

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