I wanted to know why a guy who was hitting .300 for the team seemed to be so useless in producing runs. So on Sunday afternoon, after the Giants were done pummeling Mat Latos, I systematically looked at all of Guillen's plate appearances as a Giant. He has 5 extra-base hits, 4 doubles (one of which he was thrown out trying to stretch to 3 bases) and a homer. All of them have come with no runners on base. Guillen actually is hitting all right with 2 runners on base: 11 times at bat, 3 singles and a sac fly, 5 RBI (of his 6 total, the other one is driving in himself on the home run). However, he only has one of those singles in the 6 times he has come up with two on and two out, when he also has 3 K's. With one runner on base, though, Guillen epitomizes a rally-killer. He has no RBI in those situations In 18 plate appearances with 1 runner on and less than 2 out, Guillen has exactly one single, but has hit into 4 double plays and struck out 5 times. With a runner on and two out, he fares better, with 4 singles in 7 attempts, but only one drove in the runner.
He has the most success with nobody on base. The home run, 4 doubles, 10 singles, 3 walks and 2 HBP's in 50 appearances. That's a .400 OBP. Unfortunately, as everyone can see, he is highly unlikely to actually make it in to score, being only slightly faster than Bengie Molina running through Jello. In the 19 times he's been on the bases with no outs (he drove himself in once on the homer), he has only scored 3 runs. That's a .157 "scoring average," folks. Somebody has probably already thought of that stat and given it a different name with a weird acronym, but I'm too lazy to look it up so we'll just call it "scoring average."
By contrast, Buster Posey and Pat Burrell, neither of whom will compete with Usain Bolt anytime soon, both have "scoring averages" north of .350. Andres Torres' is above .475 (Get Well Soon!) That has a lot to do with the fact that they hit in front of better hitters than Guillen, but if there's anything we learned from the Bengie Molina era, it's that having an obstacle on the basepaths high in the order is a bad idea. It's actually good for Guillen to hit in front of Uribe, which he usually does, since he is one of the more likely Giants to hit a home run, rendering Guillen's legs moot. Having him hit in front of Burrell, a new experiment, might have a similar effect but add another chance to get him in. With Buster hitting cleanup and Guillen hitting 5th, he basically becomes a 2nd 2-hole hitter, which, interestingly enough, is what he has spent much of his career doing. Unfortunately, Buster is on base enough that Guillen might just stop hitting if he stays in that spot, since something about runners on base clearly psyches him out.
So, what I have now confirmed, which I was already pretty sure I knew, about Jose Guillen is that he is not very good at "situational hitting" as we like to call it. Until he flips his splits and hits better with runners on than without them, or Uribe gets out of his slump, or both, Guillen will continue to be "productive" without actually helping the Giants win any ballgames.