Joe Crede has had his struggles at the plate early in the season for the Twins. Despite his so-far-perfect defense at third, his bat has been less than satisfactory, no improvement over Brian Buscher or even Mike Lamb of last year.
His bat will eventually come along, but there's something hidden in Crede's batting statistics that suggest maybe he's not too far off from his career numbers.
In the small sample size of 2009, Crede is batting .200 (through Saturday night). His splits are somewhat small: He is .210 on grass and .194 on turf (so far, all at the Dome). Both of his home runs came on the road.
It could be simply a coincidence, but Crede has driven 5 walks on grass and just 3 indoors—making for a large difference in on-base percentage at .375, a nice improvement over his dome numbers.
There's more. With the home run Saturday night, his slugging percent on grass bumped up to .526—another big improvement over his dome number of .290.
How does this compare to his career grass v. turf numbers?
Batting average: .261 (grass) .210 (turf).
On-base percentage: .312(grass) .258 (turf).
Slugging percentage: .460 (grass) .346 (turf).
So perhaps Crede's numbers are just a result of a home field named the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome rather than U.S. Cellular Field. And the margin isn't evident in the home/away split: At home Crede bats .255, on the road he's hit .256.
And if the Twins wanted a power hitter, they'll have to wait until Target Field opens to entertain Twins fans with the bombs: Outdoors, Crede hits exactly twice as many home runs—20.6 at bats per home run outdoors, 41.9 at bats per home run indoors.
Crede will get some time to warm up to the idea of indoor baseball this season. Hopefully numbers this season will improve, but perhaps he'll be a much more appreciated hitter next season in the open air confines of Target Field--that is, should he be still a Twin.