I’m not one to blush when it comes to my criticism over Aaron Rowand. Look, he’s a really nice guy and a pro’s pro. My dislike for Aaron has nothing to do with the person or his effort – both of which are fantastic. I’ve made this mention many times, though, I want it to be understood. My frustration towards Aaron comes from his on field play, or lack of and I’m sure part of that is misguided anger that should be reflected at Giants general manager, Brian Sabean for signing Rowand to that absurd deal.
Anyway, back to the point of this.
Rowand clearly is no longer part of this team and gracious as he was to bow out and let Andres Torres take over his job, I can’t imagine he’ll be too keen on riding the pine for another year. He’s bound to want out and I’m sure the Giants would most oblige if they could find a trade partner. But really, who wants an outfielder on the decline, the wrong side of 30, and couldn’t hit a beach ball with a softball bat? Clearly, nobody. But this is where things get interesting. Work with me here….
Rowand has been downright atrocious at AT&T Park. There is no other word for it. I’m pretty sure if Ray Charles saw Aaron swing during a home game, he’d just ask to be blind again. Let’s take a glance at the frightening statistics…
At AT&T Park, for his career, Rowand has a line of:
207 games, .250 average, 85 RBI, 17 HR, .318 OBP%, .390 SLG%
I’m pretty sure that just made the baby Jesus cry. That’s pitiful. That’s a career folks, not a season. To say Rowand struggles offensively at AT&T Park would be a mild understatement.
Now, let’s excuse the 2010 season for a moment since Rowand was glued to the bench for a large portion of it and return to 2009, Rowand’s last full season.
Check out these home/road splits:
Home: 70 games, .242 average, 28 RBI, 5 HR, .317 OBP%, .401 SLG%
Road: 74 games, .276 average, 36 RBI, 10 HR, .320 OBP%, .434 SLG%
That’s a pretty dramatic split, especially in terms of batting average.
So, I imagine you’re asking about 2008 eh? Well snowflakes, I’ve got that for you too…
Home: 77 games, .256 average, 36 RBI, 6 HR, .328 OBP%, .386 SLG%
Road: 75 games, .287 average, 34 RBI, 7 HR, .350 OBP%, .434 SLG%
It’s pretty evident that Rowand, for whatever reason, can’t hit at AT&T Park – but let’s be honest, AT&T Park doesn’t really breed success for hitters. So what’s my point in all of this? Well, it was only a short time ago that MLB insider Jon Heyman brought up a rumor linking Rowand back to the Phillies, which was met with much resistance by the city of brotherly love. And I understand that on the surface. Looking at the bare naked stats, Rowand looks horrible. But when you break it down into a little more depth, Rowand actually seems like a very serviceable outfielder in most other MLB cities.
Are the Giants going to take it up the wahoose when and if they move him? Without a doubt. They’re going to be paying the majority of his salary no matter where he goes. But, if I’m a team out there in a light free agent market….who can score a .275-ish, 20 HR guy with one time gold glove defense not that long ago, for little of nothing? That’s hard to say no to.
As for the Giants and Rowand, it’s just time to part ways.