clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Joey Votto's Triple Crown Bid Threatened By Supervillain Nemesis Omar Infante

In 2010, Omar Infante has served as an outstanding asset for the Braves, having managed a 127 OPS+ in 338 plate appearances while playing six different positions, but he's most well-known this season for landing a spot on the All-Star roster and generally making everybody lose their cookies. You see, when the All-Stars were announced, Infante was on the roster and Reds slugger Joey Votto wasn't. (Fortunately, Votto won the final vote and ended up on the team.)

Now, it appears that Infante has a real chance to ruin Votto's quest for glory. Again.

Over at Hardball Talk, Aaron Gleeman notes that Joey Votto has a very real chance of winning the first Triple Crown that baseball has seen in over forty years. His primary obstacle is Albert Pujols, who also has a good shot. His secondary obstacle is, yes, Omar Infante.

Infante has a .350 batting average entering Tuesday night's game against the Rockies -- one of 37 the team has left to play this season. His target is 502 plate appearances, a number that MLB scientists presumably came up with by throwing balloons filled with paint out of zeppelins and analyzing the splatter patterns. Gleeman estimates that he's on pace to finish with about 495 plate appearances.

Instead of disqualifying Infante from consideration, however, baseball's stat keepers will simply calculate what his batting average would have been if he had 0-for-the number of plate appearances he's short. For example, if he finishes with 495, his batting average is calculated with an extra 0-for-7. This wouldn't make a large enough dent, as Votto is all the way back at .323.

So! Those hoping that Votto will win the Triple Crown must hope that he can fend off Pujols, but just as necessarily, that Infante misses playing time or suffers a major slump.

Neither of these possibilities are probable, so I see Infante spitting in Votto's Chex mix once again. At season's end, Infante can return to griefing Votto by hiding his socks on the far side of the bed against the wall, changing Votto's laptop's power settings so that it shuts down when the lid closes, and re-alphabetizing his DVD collection by the name of the film's best boy grip.

As the Triple Crown chase continues, follow along with our Reds blog, Red Reporter, our Cardinals blog, Viva El Birdos, and our Braves blog, Talking Chop.