How do we feel about Miguel Batista’s budding mutton chops?
Me, I’m up in the air about the whole thing. From a cosmetic standpoint, those flourishing sideburns are absolutely awesome, the epitome of facial hair greatness. From a performance standpoint, those landing strips of hirsutitude may just have to go. It seems that the more those things grow, the shakier Miguel’s outings become.
Let’s examine the evidence.
Batista started the year with three straight outings in which he held opponents scoreless, netting a win in the process. Since those three outings, Batista has allowed four runs (not that bad, all things considered) over 11 innings of work. The bad part comes in the way Batista has been taxing himself through innings, often putting baserunners on (seven walks in those past 11 innings), before finding his way out of trouble.
That tight-rope effort game to a head in Sunday’s ballgame, when Batista relinquished two earned runs, thanks in part to two walks, in two-and-two-thirds innings of work (lots of twos).
Still, Batista’s cumulative numbers aren’t bad at all. He’s 1-0, with a 2.57 ERA, though his WHIP stands at a not-so-great 1.57 and his K/BB ratio is currently 11/7. So there’s work to be done there.
I get the feeling that these new ‘burns have to be playing some kind of role in the spectrum of Miguel Batista. Perhaps they’re whispering in his ear what pitch to throw, and when. Perhaps they’re increasing wind resistance on his body, thus decreasing torque, and hence resulting in lower velocity on his fastball.
I don’t know. All I really know is, the guy looks cool with those sideburns and you have to respect that. Like a character out of Remember the Titans, or a relic brought forth from the 1960s.
For now, the sideburns can stay and become a traveling curiousity, of sorts. But should Batista’s performance decline, we may need to revist this conversation and look into investing in some shaving cream and a razor blade.