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With the season one-third gone now, it’s become pretty clear which players were only slumping and which players actually just suck at baseball. And yet on every team there is at least one player which for foolish reasons, whether it be an over-developed sense of loyalty, a case of GM-player man-love, a reputation for grit and hustle, or a bloated contract, the team just hasn’t been able to pull the plug on yet. In this post, we have a look at each team in the National League with an eye for the one player who really needs to be cut as soon as possible.

Dodgers – RP Guillermo Mota: This guy looks permanently broken: he gives up too many hits, he doesn’t strike enough guys out, and he walks too many batters. His WHIP is an appalling 1.79 and he needs to be shelved somewhere.

chrisyoungGiants – 1B Travis Ishikawa: The main job of a first baseman is to hit, so when your first baseman is the worst hitter on your team, you are doing something wrong.

Diamondbacks – CF Chris Young: Chris Young was supposed to be one of those guys whose power and speed would somehow make of for his complete lack of any ability to get on base.  Well, now you have a guy whose power and speed have fallen off, but who is even less able to get on base.  It is unbelievable that Young is still on pace for well over 500 at bats this season despite his .220 OBP. He needs to be working out his suckiness in the minor leagues.

Rockies – 3B Garret Atkins: I’ve been advocating that the Rockies trade Atkins for two years now, while there was still some perception that he was a good player, but they waited too long, and now he’s basically untradeable. Few players have benefited more from Coors Field than Atkins, and Atkins also had the benefit of his personal peak coinciding with the Rockies high profile Series run in 2007. But he was always an extremely inadequate defender at third, and now his bat has disappeared as well, even at home.

ecksteinPadres – 2B David Eckstein: GM Kevin Towers calls David Eckstein the MVP of the team so far this year. He couldn’t be more wrong. Eckstein was only barely adequate defensively and offensively when he was at his peak about 5 or 6 years ago, and now at age 34, he’s pretty much got nothing left.

Cardinals – SP Todd Wellemeyer: Todd Wellemeyer shows that maybe there are limits to what pitching coach Dave Duncan can do. Kind of. Actually, it’s pretty amazing that the Cardinals have gotten as much out of Wellemeyer as they have, considering he was nobody’s idea of good starting pitcher material. But with Mitchell Boggs waiting in the wings, there’s really no reason to keep Wellemeyer around.

Brewers – 3B Bill Hall: Bill Hall couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag right now. Sure, he hit 35 homers back in 2006, but he’s done nothing at all since then, and he still has no real position defensively. For some reason, Hall still has the image of a youngster who is still developing, but when you actually go look at his age you find out he is already 29 years old, and what you see, which right now is total suckage, is probably what he really is.

Cubs – RP Aaron Heilman: Heilman was once a highly touted prospect, and did manage to throw up a few good seasons, but it’s becoming more and more clear that he’s just not all that good. Nothing about his peripherals suggests that anything is particularly wrong. His velocity is the same as ever, as are his FB/GB rates, his home run rate, his K/9 rate etc., and his BABIP is a very modest .299. Heilman simply walks too many batters, posting an unsightly 6.26 BB/9, and until that changes (if ever), he needs to be in AAA somewhere until he can learn better control.

Reds – SS Alex Gonzalez: Gonzalez was once an elite defender at shortstop, which meant that his extremely weak bat could be somewhat justified, but now he is no longer anywhere near that class, and his bat seems weaker than ever at .209/.250/.302. He needs to be cut.

erstad

Erstad is still playing?

Astros – OF Darin Erstad: Yeah, I know, Erstad is supposed to be this super-gritty former football player (except he was only a kicker), but we are a decade removed now from his last actually good season in 2000, and I’m almost surprised to see that he is actually still on a major league roster. He’s hitting .137/.211/.196.  Why is this man still anywhere near a baseball diamond?

Pirates – OF Brandon Moss: Lots of people have mentioned how one good side of trading away Nate McLouth was that it has “cleared playing time for blocked prospect Andrew McCutchen.”  But hardly anyone mentions that one of the players who was allegedly “blocking” McCutchen is Brandon Moss, a corner outfielder who has been playing every day this season despite posting a .310 OBP and only a single home run.

Marlins – 3B Emilio Bonifacio: The fact that Emilio Bonifacio, who has no business being in a major league lineup at all, is actually batting leadoff for the Marlins, despite his .294 OBP, is an indictment of the entire Marlins coaching staff and front office.

bonifacio

Bonifacio whiffs again

Mets – C Omir Santos: It’s a joke that the Mets actually traded away Ramon Castro to clear a spot on the roster for this guy. It’s going to be fun watching as the numbers left over from his fluky hot start rapidly sink toward the Mendoza line.

Braves – OF Garrett Anderson: I laughed out loud when I heard that the Braves signed Anderson in the offseason, and I pretty much haven’t stopped laughing since.  The poor old guy has a .289 OBP to go along with a -15 UZR/150 in left field. At this point you could probably drag Bernie Williams out of the recording studio and run him out there for better production.

Nationals – CL Joel Hanrahan: You can anoint a guy your closer, sing the praises of his “live arm,” and run him out there in save situations as much as you want, but that doesn’t mean he is going to pitch like a closer, just because you really really want him to. In what may be the worst bullpen of all time, no reliever has done more damage in more high leverage situations than Hanrahan. His 1.90 WHIP (for an alleged closer!) pretty much says it all.

Phillies – P Chan Ho Park: Park has looked finished for years now, at least when you look at his peripherals. He managed to reinvent himself as a serviceable reliever in the pitcher-friendly NL West last season, fooling the Phillies into taking him on, but it’s kind of an understatement to say that his game does not play well in Citizen’s Bank Ballpark. The Park-as-starter experiment was basically doomed from the get-go, but ironically, Park has pitched even more poorly this year as a reliever than he did as a starter. This man should be enjoying his retirement somewhere, not getting thrown to the wolves every other night.

38 Responses to “One Player to Cut from Every Team: NL Edition”

  1. I’ll give you this much credit, Nick, at least you left your man-crush for Delwyn Young out of this article. Doesn’t make the article any good, mind you, but at least there’s that. Let’s look at some of the high points:

    Mota has not been scored on in his last 7 appearances. He’s walked 2 and struck out 7 in the 9 innings he’s pitched over that span. Three bad outings account for 10 of the 15 runs he’s given up this season, in 16 outings he hasn’t given up a single run. On the season he’s cost the Dodgers exactly 1 game. Yeah, clearly they need shut of this guy right away.

    Ishikawa is 25 years old, hitting .264, and playing gold glove-caliber defense. He’s one of the last guys the Giants would want to cut, he has a real chance to figure into their future in a big way.

    Chris Young is also 25 and hit 22 home runs with 85 RBI last year. He steals bases and has range in the outfield. You give up on 25 year olds with this much potential? If they lost their minds and cut him he’d be signed in .005 of a second.

    Garrett Atkins is only 29, hit .286/21/99 last year, but hey, I’m sure you’re right. Clearly the guy is done. Don’t cut him (and still pay his entire contract), go all the way and run him out of town on a rail.

    Eckstein is a career .283 hitter with seasons of .285, .293, .294, .292, & .309, he’s scored 90+ runs 3 times, been as high as 11th in the MVP voting, a 2-time all star and World Series MVP who is only making $850k, and of Padres with 100 at-bats only Hairston & Gonzalez are hitting any better. Yeah, cut him yesterday.

    Wellemeyer has 5 quality starts and is first on the team in wins. Who do you anticipate giving those innings to?

    Heilman has given up no runs in 17 of 23 outings. His ERA shows effects of one bad outing. Cut him! Who needs him?

    Erstad has 58 PAs this year, he’s just a veteran backup off the bench. But good job calling him out, clearly you know best. They can give those ABs and innings to, um… me, maybe? Or Joe Shit the Ragman?

    Moss is 25 and batting .264 in his first year as a starter. And they have no one they should be giving those ABs. Another 25 year old you’re ready to throw over the side, and another player who’d be snapped up in a second if a GM lost his mind and listened to you.

    Bonifacio is 24 yrs old, has scored 30 runs, stolen 10, and is in his first year as a starter. And you advocate cutting him? Aren’t you the guy who was ready to lynch a GM for giving up on Delwyn Young?

    Santos is a backup who has provided 18 rbi in only 98 PA, a pace for 90+ over a season. That’s fantastic for any backup, off the charts for a catcher. This is one of the best backup catcher situations of any team. Cut him! Immediately!

    The others are guys who aren’t exactly useless either, except maybe Hall. The Braves would doubtless love to cut Anderson’s ABs and I’m sure they will now, but he’s the veteran in a very young outfield. Cutting him makes no sense whatsoever. And Hanrahan may not be a closer, but cutting him would make no sense at all. Someone has to pitch in that pen, and while Beimel might end up taking more 9th innings, they don’t have a lot of options to pick up innings if they cut anyone. And Park has two decent outings in relief, it’s way to early to say what he’ll give them in that role. He wasn’t ever going to be a great starter for them, true, but cut? Again, the question is who takes the innings.

    Do you actually watch baseball, Nick? And do you do even five minutes of research before you write? This is almost as bad as your “fire Colletti” article. Hell, it may be worse.

  2. Bah. I apologize for the sarcasm in my last comment. Had a bad day and took it out on you, Nick. My points stand, but I don’t want to be someone who posts venom on the internet. If I could edit it, I would.

  3. Damn, some real venom here. I don’t care about any of the other players but Bill Hall, since I am a Brewers fan, and completely agree with that one morsel of the conversation. He has zero value. Zero.

    So, using my completely narrow point of view, I applaud you very much. And kudos for having a site that inspires such passion.

  4. First, I would like to say that that KEN’s comments were infinately more insightful than the original post. Maybe you should forfeit rights to this site to him since you clearly know nothing about baseball and your use of the word suckage makes me think you’re really a 10 year old taking a short break from his xbox to right some true baseball nonsense. I am a Mets fan, and I won’t argue that we have several players who could make this list, and yea, it sucks, but Omir Santos? Pay Attention: No team in baseball outside of Minnesota would even briefly consider cutting Omir Santos after what he’s done this year. Even if his hot bat falls off, he’s played sparkling defense, called great games, may run the bases better than any catcher not nameed Russel Martin, showed leadership, grit, and outstanding 2 out clutch hitting. I’m not saying I’m ready to annoit him as catcher of the future but CUT? You’re a f*%kin retard!

  5. Sean, I’m sure Santos is ultra gritty, but his OBP is .286. Do you know how bad that is? Maybe “his hot bat will fall off”? If this is what Santos looks like with a hot bat, then I can’t imagine how terrible he’d be with a cold one.

  6. Coley Ward, you have no clue what the hell you’re saying about Omir Santos. Clearly, you don’t watch any Mets games, so how would you know anything about him.

    The way I see it, most Mets fans (or fans of their favorite team in general) including myself will be biased. However, fans or “fans” of other teams that can’t watch a Mets game for example make assumptions on players based purely on stats.

    Everyone knows that New York fans are critical of their players and even after one start or five at bats, Mets fans could despise a player. So, don’t you think it means something if Mets fans are content with a backup catcher who possesses a .287 OBP.

    Overall, don’t only think before you comment, but watch. I don’t care if Buster Olney says Santos sucks, watch him for yourself. Until you watch a consistent number of Mets games, all of your opinions on their players will not be taken seriously and if you continue to make them, you will look like even more of a tool.

  7. Paul Moro says:

    Hi. Met fan here. I watch many games, I attend many others. For all of you in love with Omir Santos, good lord. If you paid attention to other teams (i.e. not in a Mets-centric bubble), you’d know that Omir Santos is nothing special. There have been countless players like him (terrible minor league numbers, inexplicably gets called up, gets lucky early in his big league stint, ends up overstaying his welcome in the long run).

    In his many, many, many years in the minor leagues, he has never been “clutch”, has never been the guy who gets the big hits. Hell, he’s never hit, period. And now that he’s wearing a big league uniform, something changed magically? Of course not. He’s just been fortunate enough that a good chunk of the hits he’s gotten have come with runners on.

    I’ve been happy with what Santos has provided the Mets so far. I’m also not delusional enough to think that the 33 games he’s played in a Mets uniform gives me a better idea about who he is and what he can do than the 664 games he played (and sucked) in the minors.

    I miss Ramon Castro.

    P.S. As I’ve mentioned, I watch many games. And yet, I learn far more about the Mets through stats than I do watching them. You know why? Numbers (if used properly) don’t lie. My eyes do. Because I’m not a major league scout. And neither are you.

  8. What exactly are you looking for from a backup catcher, Paul? If a guy can hit, he’s not a backup anymore.

    Backup catchers are (ideally) guys who can handle the staff, serve as good backstops, and hopefully not be total black holes in the lineup. The only time you see decent hitters as backups at that position is when you have a young guy just coming up behind an established veteran, and even that only lasts about five minutes before the team trades one of them.

    I know there are exceptions to that rule, but they’re rare. It’s a simple thing to understand, really… if Santos could hit .286 over the course of the season, the Mets would have traded him and kept Castro because Santos’ value would have been too high to keep him on the bench. As it is, he’s just what you want in a backup to Schneider.

  9. Paul Moro says:

    Um, Ramon Castro was much, much better. In fact, he was much better than Brian Schneider. For some reason that hasn’t been made clear, Jerry Manuel hated the guy.

    And Santos currently sports a .287 OBP. Meaning, he makes outs 71.3 percent of the time. That’s beyond terrible.

  10. Okay. You see him more than I do, I’ll defer. I’d take a .722 OPS from my second catcher, but I admit I’ve only seen him a handful of times this year.

  11. Okay, I’ll take a stab at this, with the caveat that I’m not actually advocating these teams cutting these guys. Or cutting anyone, for that matter. But if I was the GM of each of these teams, and if I had to cut someone, these are the guys I’d cut.

    Naming the last guy on the roster would be cheating, so I’ll only do that if he’s clearly useless and could be replaced by a street free agent or minor-leaguer at a benefit to the club, and without hindering the minor-leaguer. I’m looking at guys getting regular play. And money counts.

    Dodgers- This, especially, is absolutely just an intellectual exercise. On the best team in baseball who do you cut? There’s not one player who hasn’t given yeoman service in his assigned role. The starters, the bench, the rotation, the pen, they’re all outstanding.

    I could pick an older player just for the lack of a future, but the older guys on the Dodgers are all filling important roles. And that includes Mota, who’s been great. So, in the interest of the exercise, I’ll go with Will Ohman (12.1 total innings in 21 relief appearances, 5.84 ERA). At 31 he is what he is, there’s no reason to think he’s going to get any better, and with Kuroda back a left-handed arm is going to move into the pen. So Ohman it is.

    Giants- Rich Aurilia. The Giants need to be playing the young guys.

    Diamondbacks- The D’backs couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat, so it has to be a position player. Byrnes is the easy choice by the numbers, but they’re paying him $11 million next year whether they play him or not. And he was great just two years ago. Chad Tracy is a candidate, but who’d play first?

    I guess Tracy has to be the choice. He is what he is at this point, and what he is ain’t a lot. Hand him the 2010 buyout money right now and wish him well.

    Rockies- Matt Belisle. Not really fair to pick on a Colorado reliever, but Matt’s had an ERA of 9.00 or (much) worse in about half his appearances. And not just in Colorado, he’s bad on the road too. Embree’s their lefty out of the pen, it can’t be him. Only two of their bench guys have more than 70 PAs, kind of limits my options here since none of the starters is a candidate.

    Padres- How about Brian Giles? It’s possible he’ll still heat up, but that won’t help the team win this year. He’s 38, no upside, little to no trade value.

    Now I’m making waves, got a big name into this thing.

    Cardinals- Khalil Greene. Hasn’t put it together, isn’t going to put it together. This is another spot where I don’t know who’d play the position, but Khalil’s the obvious choice.

    Brewers- My buddy rants about Bill Hall all the time, so with a nod to Chris in Milwaukee, Bill it is.

    Cubs- Milton Bradley, in two seconds flat.*

    *This flagrantly biased entry brought to you by a lifelong Dodgers fan.

    Reds- Look at all these quality young guys. Gotta go to the end of the bullpen to find someone to cut. It’s sure as hell not Gonzalez, fresh off losing a season to injury. Since I wouldn’t cut anyone from the position players with reasonable ABs, the starters, or the first five in the pen, I’ll leave it alone.

    Astros- With Geoff Geary pitching the way he is we don’t even have to delve into Matsui or Blum’s numbers. Geary it is.

    Pirates- Delwyn Young. Seriously, Delwyn, you’re 27. You’re not a prospect anymore, you can’t still be striking out a third of the time.

    Marlins- I could pick on Helms or Amezega for being in their 30s on a young team, or on Ross for having now reached his fairly mediocre potential, but why? This team is exactly what it’s supposed to be, and we won’t know about most of these guys for a couple years yet.

    Mets- Gary Sheffield. See my note about Bradley and the Cubs.

    Braves- Some Braves fans seem ready to give up on Francoeur, but he’s only 25. Does Buddy Carlyle have enough appearances for me to pick him? Yes? Okay then.

    Phillies- I’m surprised you didn’t pick Rollins or Lidge, Nick. I’m not going to pick anyone, I don’t know their roster well enough to do what I did with the Dodgers and this is a champion team, they don’t have much dead weight.

    -Again, I’m not actually advocating cutting most of these guys. But as an intellectual exercise, there it is.

  12. nrmax88 says:

    “Everyone knows that New York fans are critical of their players and even after one start or five at bats, Mets fans could despise a player. So, don’t you think it means something if Mets fans are content with a backup catcher who possesses a .287 OBP.”

    Yes, it means that most Met fans are total idiots. Omir Santos seems like a nice guy, and he has been a cool story, but he isn’t good, and the Mets traded Ramon Castro, a far superior player, based on 80 at bats from Omir Santos, where he was OPSing about 100 points higher then his minor league averages. Santos will end up like Argenis Reyes, he will be hitting below the Mendoza line and people will start calling for his head, wondering why the Mets ever traded Castro in the first place.

  13. nrmax88 says:

    “Overall, don’t only think before you comment, but watch. I don’t care if Buster Olney says Santos sucks, watch him for yourself. Until you watch a consistent number of Mets games, all of your opinions on their players will not be taken seriously and if you continue to make them, you will look like even more of a tool.”

    I am a huge Met fan, and have watched every game since 2005. The beauty of Tivo. Omir Santos hasn’t even played well, and people think he is on some hot streak. Well, if he is hitting .260/.290 when he is hot, what is that going to look like when he cools off? Omir Santos is probably the exact kind of player Buster Olney would bust a nut over. Stop being homers and try evaluating the data. Santos’ whole value is based on like 3 big hits that he got. Are walk off hits sustainable? Somehow I think not. I like him, and hope he does well, but if I think with my head and not my heart, Omir Santos is just Brian Schneider without the OBP, and Castro was the far better offensive player.

  14. nrmax88 says:

    Gary Sheffield Ken? Right, cut a guy with a 124 OPS plus making the minimum. Good stuff. Especially with the Mets starved for offense right now, and Sheff being their third best offensive player, why would you ever cut him?

  15. nrmax88 says:

    “”Hi. Met fan here. I watch many games, I attend many others. For all of you in love with Omir Santos, good lord. If you paid attention to other teams (i.e. not in a Mets-centric bubble), you’d know that Omir Santos is nothing special. There have been countless players like him (terrible minor league numbers, inexplicably gets called up, gets lucky early in his big league stint, ends up overstaying his welcome in the long run).

    In his many, many, many years in the minor leagues, he has never been “clutch”, has never been the guy who gets the big hits. Hell, he’s never hit, period. And now that he’s wearing a big league uniform, something changed magically? Of course not. He’s just been fortunate enough that a good chunk of the hits he’s gotten have come with runners on.

    I’ve been happy with what Santos has provided the Mets so far. I’m also not delusional enough to think that the 33 games he’s played in a Mets uniform gives me a better idea about who he is and what he can do than the 664 games he played (and sucked) in the minors.

    I miss Ramon Castro.

    P.S. As I’ve mentioned, I watch many games. And yet, I learn far more about the Mets through stats than I do watching them. You know why? Numbers (if used properly) don’t lie. My eyes do. Because I’m not a major league scout. And neither are you.
    “”

    Bravo

  16. Max, check my note on Sheffield and Bradley. Of course I wouldn’t really cut him, I was just giving vent to a personal dislike.

  17. “Mota has not been scored on in his last 7 appearances. He’s walked 2 and struck out 7 in the 9 innings he’s pitched over that span. Three bad outings account for 10 of the 15 runs he’s given up this season, in 16 outings he hasn’t given up a single run. On the season he’s cost the Dodgers exactly 1 game. Yeah, clearly they need shut of this guy right away.”

    What? His peripherals are terrible, and it’s hard to blow games when you enter in the lowest leverage situations possible. He’s a mop-up guy that the Dodgers are forced to keep because Colletti guaranteed him a contract. Simple as that.

    If he had a minor league deal, Mota would have been gone long ago.

  18. “Dodgers- This, especially, is absolutely just an intellectual exercise. On the best team in baseball who do you cut? There’s not one player who hasn’t given yeoman service in his assigned role. The starters, the bench, the rotation, the pen, they’re all outstanding.

    I could pick an older player just for the lack of a future, but the older guys on the Dodgers are all filling important roles. And that includes Mota, who’s been great. So, in the interest of the exercise, I’ll go with Will Ohman (12.1 total innings in 21 relief appearances, 5.84 ERA). At 31 he is what he is, there’s no reason to think he’s going to get any better, and with Kuroda back a left-handed arm is going to move into the pen. So Ohman it is.”

    You just called Mota “great”.

    Now I know you’re trolling.

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