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 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 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. Ishikawa wouldn’t be the first guy Giants fans would cut. That’d be Rich Aurilia. Ishikawa’s currently rated as the best defensive first baseman in the NL. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090528&content_id=5016600&vkey=news_sf&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf That’s now 30 hours 120 rbis, but it’s enough to help keep the team’s ERA down, and a greater contribution than Aurilia’s.

  2. Garret Anderson, really? I’d take GAndy over Francoeur. We need to cut Francoeur’s ass as soon as possible so we can get some damn production from the OF.

  3. Dude your list is not very acurate at all. While most of these guys are having poor years they are not as bad as you have made them out to be. Alot of these guys bring valuable veteran leadership to the club house as well.

  4. thethrill says:

    This is the most pointless story I have ever read. I have a problem with just about every candidate you listed, but I’ll only discuss a few of the more egregious entries. Ishikawa, while struggling at the plate, is a fantastic defensive first baseman. David Eckstein makes pitchers work so hard to get him out, that alone has value. Brandon Moss is under team control for 4 more years, I believe. The problem with your list here is that just about every player on it has some sort of trade value, therefore they would never be cut.

  5. I hate to pile on here (not really), but this is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. It actually amazes me that you are calling for many of these players to be cut – apparently not even a minor league demotion would appease you.

    Please be quiet now.

  6. CarolinaLiar says:

    Agree withe everyone else. There is definitely other players on the team to be cut before these guys. Omir Santos for example hits well in big situations. How about Tim Redding for the Mets…..I shouldnt have to explain why because his name says it all…ITS TIM REDDING!!!! Or even Jorge Julio for the Brewers over Bill Hall. All I’m saying is that in my opinion there are a lot of better choices than most of these guys.

    But as a Mets fan I do agree with Heilman. I think he should just be kicked out of baseball.

  7. I am going to be completely honest here…..you did a crappy job with this list of players to be cut and for most of these teams I can name at least two players who should be cut first. It’s a joke that you chose Omir Santos for the Mets. Brian Schneider isn’t any better and even though Santos may have only had a hot start, try mentioning names like J.J. Putz, Ramon Martinez, and Tim Redding. Overall, poor job. When I read this article, I felt like I wanted to punch the person who wrote this in the face (you). You don’t seem to be very knowledgeable about baseball.


  8. How can you say Omir Santos needs to be cut? How do you penalize somebody for performing extraordinarily well in clutch spots all the time? If it were up to this clown, only the highly touted players and high draft picks would make major league rosters. Performance be damned!

  9. I thought your assessment on this niche subject was great. I thought it was well written too… I guess the “homers” got
    irritated with your take. Look how many of these guys have been thrown away already, like Eckstein, Mota, Gonzalez, Heilman, Wellemeyer, and the always re-invented Park. Chan Ho should have been banned from baseball years ago when he gave up two homeruns (I think one was a grand slam) in the same inning ( I think that was a record too) to Fernando Tatis… who probably needs to be on your next list.

    Again, great article. Keep it up.

  10. It was actually two grand slams in the same inning by Tatis of Park, if you can believe that.

    Pretty unbelievable.

  11. Tatis off Park–that’s what I meant.

  12. This was very difficult to read. It is bereft of any meaningful insight or baskeball knowledge. You seem to be only looking at stats, and then offering little or no analysis, other than this guy sucks or constitutes “suckage” (are you you making up words on the fly?) Some funny comments like Erstad the kicker, but overall, a sad state of affairs when blogs like this are what constitute “reportage”.

  13. Paul Moro says:

    Nick, as the comments say, you did a terrible job on this post. How can you rely on statistics when they tell you absolutely nothing about a player and what he has done in his career? Instead, ask the GMs who actually signed these guys and therefore need to defend their awful decisions by claiming that the players provide “leadership” and “stability in the clubhouse” or else they’re going to get fired. They’ll tell you that you’re so wrong for basing performance on actual facts.

  14. To the dude who said that Eckstein making pitchers work hard to get him out is a good thing, your really missing the point. He’s still getting out. He’s getting out a lot to the tune of a .322 OBP with sub par defense to boot.

  15. We in Toronto have fond memories of David Eckstein.

    Actually, no we don’t.

    Looking forward to the AL version of this…

  16. Good list and use of stats.

    It’s funny that the Mets have 3 or 4 guys that could have made this list.

  17. dcwildcat53 says:

    As a long time phillies fan my vote goes to Eric Bruntlett instead of Chan Ho Park. Park at least has a serviceable arm for long relief in blowout games. Bruntlett can’t hit the ball out of the infield, may play every position but cant field his way out of a paper bag at any of them, doesnt have the speed he used to, and hes our only RH bench option. Just awesome.

  18. I agree with dcwildcat53 on this issue.

  19. joetrim says:

    I really like this article,but as some of the complaints show, there are far more players that don’t belong. Probably 100-200 players in all. In fact the league is pretty much garbage. Look at the NL central. What garbage, you could disolve the Pirates and not miss a major league player.except um …

  20. jturn14 says:

    Actually, befoe the Braves dropped Anderson or Francoeur, they would obviously drop Greg Norton who Cox has only put in the field 2 or 3 times all season and has a sub .200 batting average.
    The main flaw in this list is that many of them could be traded for SOMETHING, and would be before they would ever be released.

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