So Mike Piazza is likely out for several more weeks -- but when he comes back, we may have a difficult decision to make. What do we do with Jack Cust when it happens? He cannot really play any position, other than DH ... so what to do?
I would suggest that largely has to do with what we can expect from him.
At this point, his numbers are pretty ridiculously good. A 1.076 OPS ain't bad at all.
But, then, the first third of his season was a tad better (1.546 OPS) than the last two thirds (.788 OPS), though that second period is still pretty good.
It's interesting what has happened, though.
His hit rate (or batting average) has fallen off a cliff, dropping from .346 to .167. In nearly twice as many PAs, he has fewer hits. But, to a large degree, he has maintained his power. Of his 9 hits that first week, he had 7 extra base hits (78%). Of the 7 since, 5 have gone for extra bases (71%). Both rates are ridiculously good.
So lets say, for instance that his "true" ability is that of a .167 hitter -- but of those hits, 75% go for extra bases. Lets further suppose that half of those extra basers leave the park. Finally, we'll assume that his walk and k rates over the entire course of this stint is representative of his true ability. What do we get?
Over the course of 600 PAs, he would accumulate 75 base hits, 19 singles, 28 doubles and 28 homers. Additionally, he would draw 152 walks (the most ever by anyone not named Ruth, Bonds, McGwire or Williams) and strike out 204 times (a record).
That would add up to a line of:
Not a superstar, but as a poor man's Adam Dunn he would be quite useful.
But ... what if we make one of those assumptions a tad more optomistic? What if we assume that the distribution of extra base hits would look like it currently does, 2 jacks for every double?
That would change things a bit, adding 9 jacks, while subtracting 9 doubles.
That would leave us with a line of:
.167/.378/.459 (.837), with an incredible IsoSlg of .282.
So what do you all think? What should we expect?