He’s had better years. Chipper’s batting average dropped by 100 points from his title-winning .364, and his homers fell from 22 to 18 despite more than fifty more plate appearances. The cause is a bit hard to diagnose as his strikeouts rose only a little bit. If he was really done, you would expect a big rise in “non-contact” plate appearances, with both strikeouts and walks going up, but that didn’t happen. He didn’t look good at the plate much of the time, but statistically it was basically all batting-average-on-balls-in-play, which accounted for 96 points of the drop. Just luck? I don’t know. He was terrible in September and looked tired. His ability to stay in the lineup more (he played in his most games since 2003) might have paradoxically hurt him, as he didn’t get the rest he normally has the last few years. Bobby needs to give the man a break more often.
Hit lefthanders much better than righthanders for a change; half his homers came righthanded. Of course, managers still try to turn him around… Though he’s slow, he’ll steal the occasional base. He was 4-of-5 last year, and is 26-of-30 since 2004… Had a bad year defensively after making much improvement late in his career. His .930 fielding percentage was a career low, and his range dropped to a level where he really can’t carry the errors. A lot of the complaints about his defense over the years haven’t been warranted, but they were last year. Escobar gives him a little protection, but not that much.