The month of May was good for many Red Sox hitters, primarily David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis, two anchors of the middle of the lineup. It wasn't good for everyone, though.
One player that struggled was leadoff hitter and shortstop Marco Scutaro. Scoot just wasn't having a good month, batting just .261 with a .314 wOBA. He boosted his walk percentage from 7.8 in April to 13.2 in May, which was nice, but nothing else seemed to click.
Until the end of May. Since May 28, Scutaro has been a different player.Before we go any further, watch this video. I don't normally endorse anything BDD related, but this is one exception:
You watched? Good. Now let's continue.
Since that May 28, Scoot has been on a tear. In 11 games, he has had three three-hit games. His batting average has clocked in at .425 over that span. In 47 at-bats, he's only walked four times, but to go with those four walks, he has struck out just three times. In last night's 4-1 win over the Indians, Scutaro went 3 for 4 with two runs and three doubles. Now that's a game.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Scutaro Theo Epstein signed.
Actually, that's a lie. No one expected Scutaro to do this for a long period of time. Exactly what he is doing is nice, but he won't keep it up. But this dominant stretch -- a stretch that has seen eight doubles and two home runs -- is averaging him out to what we really expected: an above-average hitter with an above-average glove.
That is exactly what Theo signed.
Scoot wasn't that for a while. His glove has been solid all year, but he just wasn't the same player as last year at the plate (not that we expected him to rebound to put up the same numbers, but I think most of us expected something almost as good). With his glove holding true, Scutaro is showing his gap power and has been a huge asset at the top of the lineup.
If Scutaro can click at the same time as Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez and Youkilis, you're looking at the best 1-4 in baseball. Pedroia is turning it around, but Youkilis and V-Mart aren't exactly lighting it up right now (they're not bad, either).
This brings me back to something we addressed a few weeks back: when Jacoby Ellsbury comes back -- if he ever comes back (note the sarcasm) -- does Scutaro get booted back down to the bottom of the lineup?
Even when Scutaro cools off, the Red Sox need to be cautious with Ellsbury and his injuries when he gets back. The Sox should leave him at the bottom of the lineup and let Scutaro continue to get on base in front of the big mashers. Still, this is a conversation that we probably shouldn't even be having until Ellsbury comes off the disabled list ... and stays off the disabled list.
My final words:
Scu Scu Scutaro! So much better than Lugooooooo!