Battle Of The Bad

There has been plenty of talk about the Triple Crown this season. With the Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Martinez as the now lone candidate to potentially win the crown, for the first time since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Martinez is currently second in AVG with .331 (behind team mate Mookie Betts – .334), he’s second in home runs with 41 (behind Oakland A’s slugger Khris Davis – 43) and he’s leading the Majors in RBI with 123.

But we’re not here to talk about that.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve become slowly and carefully (more) obsessed with Yoan Moncada than I have even been before. Whenever the Red Sox make a trade (especially when it involves the number 1 prospect in baseball), I always like to keep an eye on them to see how they continue going forward. Well, Moncada hasn’t really performed as many hoped — as I looked at in this post last week — and his strikeout rate means he could topple the largest number of strikeouts in one season (Mark Reynolds – 223).

So what other terrible records could be broken? Thanks to the excellent Baseball Reference we can take a look at all those terrible records and see if they are under threat!

Ground Into Double Plays

Grounding into a double play usually kills an inning for a team. Displaying weak contact that doesn’t clear the infield, leaving your hapless team mates in between bases, as the baseball is fired past your head for the outs.

Oh man, you do not want to be topping this leaderboard, even being in the top 5 would be bad.

Rank Player (age that year) Double Plays Grounded Into Year Bats
1. Jim Rice+ (31) 36 1984 R
2. Jim Rice+ (32) 35 1985 R
3. Billy Butler (24) 32 2010 R
Ben Grieve (24) 32 2000 L
Jackie Jensen (27) 32 1954 R
Cal Ripken+ (24) 32 1985 R
Miguel Tejada (34) 32 2008 R

Oh Poor Jim Rice. Despite being atop the GIDP leaderboard in 1984, he was an All-Star, won the Silver Slugger and received MVP votes. He was also an All-Star in 1985, so it’s not all bad.

However, is our terrible record under threat? Well at the top of the 2018 GIDP class are Manny Machado and Miguel Rojas with 23. I think it’s safe to say this one is untouched for now.

Lets look at a pitcher leaderboard next.

Home Runs Surrendered

You’re going to have had a bad year if you top this list, surely. Also, with pitchers being pulled quicker and bullpens being deeper, surely this one won’t be broken?

Rank Player (age that year) Home Runs Year Throws HR Log
1. Bert Blyleven+ (35) 50 1986 R HR Log
2. Jose Lima (27) 48 2000 R HR Log
3. Bronson Arroyo (34) 46 2011 R HR Log
Bert Blyleven+ (36) 46 1987 R HR Log
Robin Roberts+ (29) 46 1956 R HR Log

Bert Blyleven pitched a league leading 271.2 innings in 1986, with an ERA of 4.01. He racked up 215 strikeouts, surrendering 58 walks. He had 36 starts and 16 complete games! He was worth 4.3 bWAR that season, while leading the pitching staff for the Twins and eventually ended up in the Hall of Fame. Every cloud eh?

As for 2018, Dylan Bundy (unsurprisingly) is leading the bunch with 38 so far. With the way the Orioles season has gone, I believe Bundy can break this record (he can’t).

Because most of the “rubbish” records aren’t close to being broken (Walks in a season for pitchers, HBP for pitchers, Caught Stealing for hitters) and with Baseball Reference being fairly limited when it comes to “Rubbish Baseballer Leaderboards”, I’ve had to create my own in Play Index.

Using the parameters of >= 400 PA, <=.200 AVG, post 1950 – 2018, I produced this table.

The “I can’t believe this guy is getting AB he’s an absolute disgrace” leaderboard

Hey, a record that could be broken! Although, that Adam Dunn season was seriously bad and I’m not sure Chris Davis has enough time to really grind that average down.

Lets get back to the pitchers. Time for another Pringle Patented Terrible Table. I used the same 1950-2018 year range, games started >= 20, sorted by the Win/Loss %. It’s time for:

The “I know wins don’t matter, but look at that win/loss percentage” leaderboard

With Homer Bailey out of the rotation this year and unlikely to start another game (unless the Reds employ him in  “The Opener” role), then we have a 2018 winner in the Battle Of The Bad! That is until Moncada has a strikeout rate of 1.7 per game for the rest of the season and clocks his 224 SO. Ah bliss.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.