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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Drama after Billy Butler’s drop in Royals lineup isn’t what anyone wanted

The last thing this eight-years-in-the-Processing Royals season needs is drama, but here it is anyway. One of the team’s highest-paid and longest-tenured players feels singled out and is going passive-aggressive to make his point and subtly call out a teammate.

Ego and self-interest are on both sides of this, team and player each having legitimate beef. Billy Butler justifiably sees himself as the club’s most established hitter, and wonders why he’s been occasionally benched and now moved down in the lineup for the second time while Eric Hosmer appears to have birthrights to the top of the batting order every day.

The truth is that Hosmer’s spot in the lineup is being evaluated, but for now, the team sees Butler as an underperforming and now overpaid hitter on a roster in desperate need of consistent production, exposing an ego that’s always simmered just beneath the surface.

Ned Yost has final say on the lineup, which is put together with the input of the coaches and front office, including sabermetric specialists. None of them would say it publicly, but moving Butler down in the lineup while keeping Hosmer higher is as clear a sign as the team can give that — track record or not — they have more faith in Hosmer reaching his potential than in Butler regaining his past.

Wait, what? You buried the lede! The Royals have sabermetric specialists????

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:50 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: billy butler, dayton moore, ned yost, royals, sabermetrics

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   1. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: July 08, 2014 at 06:47 PM (#4746572)
The truth is that Hosmer’s spot in the lineup is being evaluated

Hosmer is lost. He's swinging at terrible pitches as if he's completely forgotten what the strike zone is. His OBP and SLG are below .300 since the middle of June. I'm not sure what the hell Ned is waiting for.
   2. KT's Pot Arb Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:04 AM (#4746755)
Butler had a mere 3,370 PAs of 128 OPS+ now followed by a brutally long 355 PAs of 87 OPS+.

That's it, he's toast in his age 28 season. Apparently he has no motivation left and is just going through the motions. Hopefully KC will trade him to A's for a bag of balls.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2014 at 03:53 AM (#4746761)
While not the most likely case it wouldn't surprise me if Butler did drop off a cliff. Big slow guy with no defensive value and moderate power is no way to go through your 20s if you want a successful 30s in baseball. Barring a big 2nd half, the Royals likely won't exercise their $12.5 M option, won't make a QO -- he'll be better off than Cruz and Morales in that sense but I doubt he'll do better than Cruz's contract this year.

And this is not a BABIP slump as it's at 316 vs. career 326. In fact all the components are in line with previous except there's no power whatsoever. Unless it's injury-related, I have serious doubts he'll just bounce back to where he was before.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 09, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4746810)
Man KC just eats hitters alive.

How do you have a 1B and a DH with ISOs <100?
   5. thetailor Posted: July 09, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4746886)
#2 KT your point is well taken but his slump isn't just this season.

He's hitting .282/.356/.388 for .744 OPS and 105 OPS+ over his last two seasons, covering 1,027 plate appearances.

I really wonder what kind of team would take a flyer on a guy like that next year, even if the hitting bounces back, given his defensive limitations.
   6. bobm Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4747017)
[4] 1920-2014, Batting qualifiers, 50% of G at 1B or DH, From BR-PI

                                                                          
Rk              Player  ISO Year Age  Tm   G  PA HR   BA  OBP  SLG     Pos
1         Mike Squires .031 1981  29 CHW  92 334  0 .265 .312 .296   *3H/7
2          Ivy Griffin .036 1920  23 PHA 129 507  0 .238 .281 .274   *3/4H
3            Pete Rose .041 1983  42 PHI 151 555  0 .245 .316 .286  *39H/7
4          Earl Sheely .041 1931  38 BSN 147 586  1 .273 .319 .314    *3/H
5         Walter Holke .043 1922  29 BSN 105 424  0 .291 .317 .334      *3
6        Buddy Hassett .046 1939  27 BSN 147 638  2 .308 .342 .354   *39/H
7        Buddy Hassett .049 1941  29 BSN 118 449  1 .296 .354 .346     *3H
8        Gene Paulette .055 1920  29 PHI 143 608  1 .288 .332 .343   *3/H6
9        Buddy Hassett .059 1940  28 BSN 124 485  0 .234 .273 .293    *3H9
10      Stuffy McInnis .059 1920  29 BOS 148 624  2 .297 .321 .356      *3
11        Johnny Sturm .061 1941  25 NYY 124 568  3 .239 .293 .300      *3
12      Elbie Fletcher .061 1937  21 BSN 148 606  1 .247 .321 .308      *3
13       Eddie Waitkus .062 1951  31 PHI 145 664  1 .257 .317 .320    *3/H
14       Charlie Grimm .062 1920  21 PIT 148 580  2 .227 .273 .289      *3
15           Rod Carew .065 1985  39 CAL 127 518  2 .280 .371 .345     *3H
16           Pete Rose .065 1981  40 PHI 107 486  0 .325 .391 .390      *3
17       Billy Goodman .065 1949  23 BOS 122 510  0 .298 .382 .363    *3/H
18       Jim Bottomley .065 1935  35 CIN 107 423  1 .258 .294 .323     *3H
19           Pete Rose .066 1982  41 PHI 162 720  3 .271 .345 .338      *3
20         Dick Burrus .066 1926  28 BSN 131 541  3 .270 .324 .335    *3/H
21             Lu Blue .067 1932  35 CHW 112 444  0 .249 .364 .316    *3/H
22       Mike Hargrove .068 1982  32 CLE 160 705  4 .271 .377 .338   *3/DH
23        Pete Runnels .068 1957  29 WSH 134 536  2 .230 .310 .298   *354H
24           Rod Carew .069 1981  35 CAL  93 421  2 .305 .380 .374   *3/HD
25      Stuffy McInnis .069 1924  33 BSN 146 611  1 .291 .311 .360      *3
Rk              Player  ISO Year Age  Tm   G  PA HR   BA  OBP  SLG     Pos
26         Tony Lupien .070 1948  31 CHW 154 699  6 .246 .327 .316      *3
27         Enos Cabell .071 1981  31 SFG  96 413  2 .255 .274 .326   *35/H
28         Buck Jordan .071 1937  30 TOT 106 353  1 .281 .332 .352     *3H
29       Johnny Walker .071 1921  24 PHA 112 442  2 .258 .278 .329   *3/2H
30           Rod Carew .072 1983  37 CAL 129 536  2 .339 .409 .411  *3DH/4
31           Pete Rose .072 1980  39 PHI 162 739  1 .282 .352 .354    *3/H
32          Matty Alou .072 1972  33 TOT 140 567  4 .307 .350 .379  *93H/7
33           Joe Kuhel .072 1943  37 CHW 153 617  5 .213 .319 .284      *3
34       Charlie Grimm .073 1933  34 CHC 107 413  3 .247 .290 .320    *3/H
35          Bud Clancy .073 1927  26 CHW 130 513  3 .300 .337 .373    *3/H
36        Ray Schmandt .073 1922  26 BRO 110 429  2 .268 .306 .341    *3/H
37        Billy Butler .074 2014  28 KCR  88 359  2 .269 .323 .344    *D/H
38      Keith Moreland .074 1988  34 SDP 143 562  5 .256 .305 .331  *37/H5
39         Denis Menke .074 1971  30 HOU 146 547  1 .246 .328 .320 *356H/4
40        Dick Siebert .074 1942  30 PHA 153 642  2 .260 .291 .333    *3/H
41           Art Mahan .074 1940  27 PHI 146 591  2 .244 .297 .318    *3/1
42          Wes Parker .075 1972  32 LAD 130 502  4 .279 .367 .354  *3H/89
43          Wes Parker .075 1968  28 LAD 135 534  3 .239 .312 .314 *37/H89
44       Eddie Waitkus .075 1950  30 PHI 154 702  2 .284 .341 .359    *3/H
45       Babe Dahlgren .075 1943  31 PHI 136 565  5 .287 .354 .362 *356/H2
46          Lou Finney .075 1936  25 PHA 151 703  1 .302 .351 .377 *3978/H
47         Earl Sheely .075 1923  30 CHW 156 683  4 .296 .387 .372      *3
48     Willie Montanez .076 1980  32 TOT 142 548  6 .272 .325 .348     *3H
49         Ferris Fain .076 1949  28 PHA 150 672  3 .263 .415 .339      *3
50       Billy Goodman .076 1948  22 BOS 127 527  1 .310 .414 .387  *3/H45
Rk              Player  ISO Year Age  Tm   G  PA HR   BA  OBP  SLG     Pos
51        Walter Holke .076 1921  28 BSN 150 622  3 .261 .284 .337      *3
52        Bill Buckner .077 1973  23 LAD 140 606  8 .275 .297 .351  *379/H
53        Dick Siebert .077 1943  31 PHA 146 594  1 .251 .295 .328    *3/H
54           Joe Kuhel .077 1935  29 WSH 151 722  2 .261 .345 .338      *3
55      Stuffy McInnis .077 1923  32 BSN 154 670  2 .315 .343 .392      *3
56         Ted Simmons .078 1984  34 MIL 132 532  4 .221 .269 .300  *D35/H
57         Harley Boss .078 1933  24 CLE 112 470  1 .269 .310 .347    *3/H
58        Bill Sweeney .078 1931  26 BOS 131 528  1 .295 .322 .373    *3/H
59       Chuck Stevens .079 1946  27 SLB 122 485  3 .248 .324 .326    *3/H
60          Jose Vidro .080 2007  32 SEA 147 625  6 .314 .381 .394   *D3H4
61       Buddy Hassett .080 1942  30 NYY 132 581  5 .284 .325 .364      *3
62        Bruce Bochte .081 1984  33 OAK 148 533  5 .264 .333 .345   *3H/D
63       Mike Hargrove .081 1983  33 CLE 134 566  3 .286 .388 .367   *3/HD
64           Max Macon .082 1944  28 BSN 106 380  3 .273 .296 .355 *37H/81
65       Jimmy Wasdell .082 1943  29 TOT 145 581  4 .261 .326 .344 *378/H9
66           Joe Kuhel .082 1942  36 CHW 115 482  4 .249 .347 .332    *3/H
67          Jack Burns .082 1935  27 SLB 143 638  5 .286 .366 .368    *3/H
68           Joe Mauer .083 2014  31 MIN  76 339  2 .271 .342 .353     *3D
69          Wes Parker .083 1971  31 LAD 157 609  6 .274 .347 .356  *39/H7
70      Whitey Lockman .083 1957  30 NYG 133 502  7 .248 .308 .331 *37H/98
71       Buddy Hassett .083 1937  25 BRO 137 595  1 .304 .334 .387 *3/8H79
72         Buck Jordan .083 1936  29 BSN 138 610  3 .323 .375 .405    *3/H
73        Walter Holke .083 1920  27 BSN 144 603  3 .294 .329 .377    *3/H
74        Dave Magadan .084 1991  28 NYM 124 517  4 .258 .378 .342    *3/H
75           Rod Carew .084 1982  36 CAL 138 612  3 .319 .396 .403    *3/H
Rk              Player  ISO Year Age  Tm   G  PA HR   BA  OBP  SLG     Pos
76       Mike Hargrove .084 1981  31 CLE  94 398  2 .317 .424 .401   *3/HD
77         Rusty Staub .084 1963  19 HOU 150 585  6 .224 .309 .308   *39/H
78         Tony Lupien .084 1943  26 BOS 154 672  4 .255 .317 .339    *3/H
79          Wally Pipp .084 1927  34 CIN 122 489  2 .260 .309 .343    *3/H
80      Stuffy McInnis .084 1922  31 CLE 142 582  1 .305 .325 .389    *3/H
81         Tommy Davis .085 1973  34 BAL 137 590  7 .306 .341 .391   *D/H3
82       Les Scarsella .085 1937  23 CIN 110 354  3 .246 .285 .331  *3H7/9
83           Ed Morgan .085 1934  30 BOS 138 617  3 .267 .367 .352    *3/H
84        Walter Holke .085 1925  32 TOT 104 353  2 .270 .314 .355     *3H
85             Lu Blue .085 1925  28 DET 150 653  3 .306 .403 .391    *3/H
86     Scott Hatteberg .086 2005  35 OAK 134 523  7 .256 .334 .343    *D3H
87       Eddie Waitkus .086 1952  32 PHI 146 568  2 .289 .371 .375    *3/H
88        Jake Daubert .086 1924  40 CIN 102 448  1 .281 .331 .368      *3
89    George Metkovich .087 1945  24 BOS 138 598  5 .260 .331 .347  *389/H
90       George Sisler .087 1928  35 TOT 138 588  4 .331 .370 .419  *3H/71
91       Charlie Grimm .087 1927  28 CHC 147 617  2 .311 .367 .398      *3
92             Lu Blue .087 1923  26 DET 129 615  1 .284 .402 .371      *3
93      Stuffy McInnis .087 1921  30 BOS 152 644  0 .307 .335 .394      *3
94       Mitchell Page .088 1979  27 OAK 133 539  9 .247 .323 .335   *D/7H
95         Tommy Davis .088 1974  35 BAL 158 673 11 .289 .325 .377    *D/H
96           Bert Haas .088 1946  32 CIN 140 580  3 .264 .310 .351   *3/5H
97         Chubby Dean .088 1936  20 PHA 111 374  1 .287 .337 .374     *3H
98       George Sisler .088 1930  37 BSN 116 468  3 .309 .346 .397    *3/H
99          Roy Leslie .088 1922  27 PHI 141 567  6 .271 .320 .359    *3/H
100       Steve Garvey .089 1984  35 SDP 161 653  8 .284 .307 .373    *3/H
Rk              Player  ISO Year Age  Tm   G  PA HR   BA  OBP  SLG     Pos
101      Eddie Waitkus .089 1947  27 CHC 130 554  2 .292 .336 .381    *3/H
102        Harry Davis .089 1937  29 SLB 120 527  3 .276 .374 .364   *3/H9
103      Shano Collins .089 1920  34 CHW 133 539  1 .303 .339 .392 *3/9H87
104       Alex Johnson .090 1973  30 TEX 158 663  8 .287 .322 .377  *D7/H8
105        Ferris Fain .090 1953  32 CHW 128 564  6 .256 .405 .345    *3/H
106      Mickey Vernon .090 1948  30 WSH 150 619  3 .242 .310 .332    *3/H
107   Dutch Schliebner .090 1923  32 TOT 146 587  4 .271 .333 .362      *3
108       Julio Franco .091 1997  38 TOT 120 505  7 .270 .369 .360  *D43/H
109           Bob Boyd .091 1957  37 BAL 141 552  4 .318 .388 .408   *3H/7
110     George McQuinn .091 1946  36 PHA 136 556  3 .225 .317 .316    *3/H
111       Dick Siebert .091 1945  33 PHA 147 633  7 .267 .328 .358      *3
112       Mickey Rocco .091 1943  27 CLE 108 469  5 .240 .328 .331      *3
113        Chubby Dean .091 1937  21 PHA 104 358  2 .262 .350 .353   *3H/1
114     Johnny Watwood .091 1930  24 CHW 133 496  2 .302 .382 .393  38H9/7
115      Charlie Grimm .091 1928  29 CHC 147 615  5 .294 .342 .386      *3
116      Charlie Grimm .091 1922  23 PIT 154 649  0 .292 .343 .383      *3
117        Earl Sheely .092 1924  31 CHW 147 656  3 .320 .426 .411      *3
118        Danny Cater .093 1970  30 NYY 155 621  6 .301 .340 .393  *35/9H
119         Jack Burns .093 1931  23 SLB 144 621  4 .260 .312 .353    *3/H
120         Wally Pipp .093 1923  30 NYY 144 644  6 .304 .352 .397      *3
121       Jake Daubert .093 1921  37 CIN 136 576  2 .306 .341 .399      *3
122       Doc Johnston .093 1920  32 CLE 147 594  2 .292 .333 .385      *3
123     Whitey Lockman .094 1953  26 NYG 150 665  9 .295 .351 .389  *37/H8
124        Tony Lupien .094 1944  27 PHI 153 669  5 .283 .347 .377    *3/H
125      Buddy Hassett .094 1936  24 BRO 156 683  3 .310 .350 .405      *3
Rk              Player  ISO Year Age  Tm   G  PA HR   BA  OBP  SLG     Pos
126       Walter Holke .094 1924  31 PHI 148 605  6 .300 .330 .394      *3
127      Mike Hargrove .095 1978  28 TEX 146 616  7 .251 .388 .346   *3/DH
128            Lu Blue .095 1931  34 CHW 155 726  1 .304 .430 .399      *3
129    Carlos Quintana .096 1990  24 BOS 149 572  7 .287 .354 .383   *3H/9
130        Rusty Staub .096 1968  24 HOU 161 682  6 .291 .373 .387     *39
131    Johnny McCarthy .096 1938  28 NYG 134 517  8 .272 .329 .368    *3/H
132         Jack Burns .096 1936  28 TOT 147 665  4 .281 .374 .378    *3/H
133         Lee Thomas .097 1963  27 LAA 149 594  9 .220 .301 .316 *39/H78
134      Howie Schultz .097 1947  24 TOT 116 430  6 .223 .263 .319    *3/H
135       Dick Siebert .097 1940  28 PHA 154 636  5 .286 .325 .383      *3
136         Bud Clancy .097 1928  27 CHW 130 559  2 .271 .331 .368    *3/H
137        Eric Hosmer .098 2014  24 KCR  89 398  4 .259 .304 .357      *3
138    Rafael Palmeiro .098 1989  24 TEX 156 632  8 .275 .354 .374  *3/HD7
139      Mike Hargrove .098 1976  26 TEX 151 654  7 .287 .397 .384   *3/HD
140    Frank McCormick .098 1938  27 CIN 151 671  5 .327 .348 .425      *3
141   Russ Wrightstone .098 1927  34 PHI 141 590  6 .306 .365 .403  *3/H45
142       Darin Erstad .099 2005  31 LAA 153 667  7 .273 .325 .371   *3/DH
143          Pete Rose .099 1979  38 PHI 163 732  4 .331 .418 .430  *3/5H4
144        Danny Cater .099 1969  29 OAK 152 620 10 .262 .296 .361 *37H/49
145       Don Kolloway .099 1950  31 DET 125 502  6 .289 .331 .388   *3/H4
146      Les Scarsella .099 1936  22 CIN 115 502  3 .313 .335 .412      *3
147      George Sisler .099 1929  36 BSN 154 686  2 .326 .363 .424      *3
148        Earl Sheely .099 1929  36 PIT 139 585  6 .293 .392 .392      *3
   7. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4747038)
And this is not a BABIP slump


No, from 2009-2012 his XBH% ranged from 8.9 to 10.9,
last year it was 6.3%, this year 5.6

His strikeout rate has been trending up, this year would be a career high.

GB/FB ratio:
2011: 0.84
2012: 0.92
2013: 1.14
2014: 1.19

His LD rate is actually trending up

His K/bb rate is high this year, but there's no apparent trend, his tends to swing a lot.

I think that he's incrementally made counterproductive hitting adjustments over the past 4-5 years, that cumulatively reached a tipping point where his HR power evaporated. I think he needs to study and try to replicate what he was doing 4-5 years ago.


   8. Ron J2 Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4747054)
Looking at that list I thought Hasset would turn out to be the Hal Lanier of 1B. It's impressive in that he made the list every single season of his career (played 156 games as a rookie)

Actually finished with a 93 OPS+ because he was a pretty decent hitter for average (career .292 hitter who hit .300+ in 3 of his first 4 seasons)

He put up 7.6 WAR in 929 games. That's pretty poor for a guy playing as regularly as he did, but Lanier:

a) lasted longer as a regular
b) was a much worse hitter (even relative to his position and considering how middle infielders of the 60s hit)
   9. KT's Pot Arb Posted: July 09, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4747058)
He's hitting .282/.356/.388 for .744 OPS and 105 OPS+ over his last two seasons, covering 1,027 plate appearances.


He had a 116 OPS+ last year, sure it's a low for his last 5 years but still perfectly acceptable. Lumping it with this year still leaves him an above average hitter.

No, from 2009-2012 his XBH% ranged from 8.9 to 10.9,
last year it was 6.3%, this year 5.6

His strikeout rate has been trending up, this year would be a career high.

GB/FB ratio:
2011: 0.84
2012: 0.92
2013: 1.14
2014: 1.19


Everyone is hitting worse the last few years, how does his trend match up with MLB hitter trends?
   10. Dale Sams Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4747083)
Which teams get more production out of the DH spot? Ones that have full-timers or ones that 'rotate to rest' (snarf)Yes, Big Papi is going to skew that all to hell, but tough titty.
   11. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4747090)
His LD rate is actually trending up

One wonders what this means with a guy whose fly ball rate is dropping and whose ISO is plummeting. Is he really hitting more line drives, or is he hitting a bunch of flares that aren't hit hard enough to become fly balls?
   12. BDC Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4747103)
Which teams get more production out of the DH spot?

Kansas City is 13th out of the 15 AL clubs in OPS from their DHs this year.

There are seven regular DHs this year (defined as more than 50% of their team's games at DH). Butler is seventh among them in OPS.
   13. bobm Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4747104)
[10]
                                         
Rk       I Split From   To    G  OPS   PA
1      STL as DH 2004 2013   79 .946  352
2      BOS as DH 2004 2013 1529 .921 6872
3      CLE as DH 2004 2013 1529 .825 6652
4      CHW as DH 2004 2013 1530 .806 6603
5      CHC as DH 2004 2013   76 .806  327
6      TEX as DH 2004 2013 1530 .792 6650
7      NYY as DH 2004 2013 1529 .790 6646
8      TOR as DH 2004 2013 1528 .780 6511
9      KCR as DH 2004 2013 1529 .775 6543
10     CIN as DH 2004 2013   79 .775  339
11     NYM as DH 2004 2013   85 .768  369
12     PHI as DH 2004 2013   82 .768  358
13     OAK as DH 2004 2013 1528 .765 6604
14     DET as DH 2004 2013 1530 .756 6630
15     MIN as DH 2004 2013 1531 .752 6536
16     ANA as DH 2004 2013 1529 .751 6571
17     COL as DH 2004 2013   79 .749  344
18     BAL as DH 2004 2013 1528 .740 6426
19     ATL as DH 2004 2013   76 .740  324
20     TBD as DH 2004 2013 1528 .725 6485
21     SFG as DH 2004 2013   76 .698  328
22     SEA as DH 2004 2013 1529 .688 6530
23     FLA as DH 2004 2013   88 .677  382
24     LAD as DH 2004 2013   85 .664  365
25     ARI as DH 2004 2013   85 .655  349
Rk       I Split From   To    G  OPS   PA
26     MIL as DH 2004 2013   79 .647  354
27     HOU as DH 2004 2013  221 .646  934
28     MON as DH 2004 2013   91 .638  382
29     SDP as DH 2004 2013   82 .627  347
30     PIT as DH 2004 2013   73 .613  304


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/9/2014.
   14. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4747106)
Is he really hitting more line drives, or is he hitting a bunch of flares that aren't hit hard enough to become fly balls?


He's maintaining his BABIP...

He's a slow guy whose groundball rate is up... so my guess is he really is hitting more line drives, if he wasn't he'd really be cratering
   15. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 09, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4747108)
Everyone is hitting worse the last few years, how does his trend match up with MLB hitter trends?


Same trend, Butler's is much worse than the mean though.
   16. KT's Pot Arb Posted: July 09, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4747559)
In Butler's mediocre 116 OPS+ season last year, KC was 6th in AL production from DH spot, but slightly below average because David Ortiz is the monster that skews all DH averages.

More surprising, in Butler's big 138 OPS+ 2012 season, KC was 7TH in AL DH production, exactly average. His first almost entirely DH season in 2011 he had a 125 OPS+ and they were 5th.

I am very shocked by these rankings. I always thought that having any type of decent (ie > 115 OPS+) full time DH hitter gave your team above average production given so many teams have to rotate older position players through to rest them. I would think a 125 or 138 OPS+ type season would be good for 2nd or 3rd in a league with David Ortiz.

It's possible his games at first are bringing down their averages if a lesser hitter DHed those games, but I'm assuming some are Inter-league games without DH and those three years he ended up DHing between 138 to 150 games, so almost all of them. For example, in 2012 KC played 9 inter-league games in NL parks, so Billy ended up DHing 138 out of their 153 DH games.

But it doesn't seem to be his fault. Looks like KC should have rode their big hoss a bit harder that year. No matter how tired he was those games, his replacements were almost always terrible.

2012 KC DHs
Name        PAs  BA
/OBP/SLG/OPS
Total       659 .302
/.360/.475/.835
Butler      591 .315
/.371/.501/.871
Pena        28  .115
/.179/.231/.409 
Giavotella  15  .286
/.333/.286/.619 
Dyson       10  .167
/.500/.167/.667
Abreu       4   .250
/.250/.250/.500
Betencourt  4   .000
/.000/.000/.000
Moore       3   .333
/.333/.667/1.000 
   17. KT's Pot Arb Posted: July 09, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4747568)
BBRef gives him 7.5 WAR for his full time DH years, 2011-2013. Fangraphs doesn't like Butler as much , they've got him only worth 5.6 WAR for those years, worth $25.8M total, paid $19.5M. Either way it's clear a qualifying offer was always iffy value even if he came off one of his better seasons.

It's not as if Fangraphs system is totally biased against DHs, they put David Ortiz at roughly double the value of Butler, 3.8 WAR last year despite only 136 games.

But it's just surprising to me how one of the better DH's in the league can have so little relative value. I think it highlights the value of having very good hitting position players on your team you can cycle through the DH position for rest, instead of a very limited DH specialist, unless that specialist is one of all time great DHs like Ortiz.

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NewsblogGraphic designer creates Star Wars/MLB mash-up logos for all 30 teams
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NewsblogOT:  2014 College Football pre-season thread
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NewsblogMike Carp designated for assignment, Mookie Betts called up - Over the Monster
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NewsblogJim Bowden Caught Stealing From Fake Twitter Account, Deletes Everything
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NewsblogMiklasz: Mozeliak sets off a loud wake-up call
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NewsblogGiants Designate Dan Uggla, Tyler Colvin
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NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-1
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NewsblogRosendo ‘Rusty’ Torres found guilty of 5 counts of sex abuse, acquitted of 3 other charges
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NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(217 - 11:38pm, Aug 01)
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NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1081 - 10:39pm, Aug 01)
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NewsblogGeorge "The Animal" Steele Mangles A Baseball
(160 - 9:12pm, Aug 01)
Last: NJ in DC (Now unemployed!)

NewsblogBill James Mailbag - 7/13/14 - 7/22/14 (Subscription Required)
(11 - 8:40pm, Aug 01)
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NewsblogJose Bautista, Casey Janssen “frustrated” and “disappointed” by Jays’ lack of deadline activity
(6 - 8:31pm, Aug 01)
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NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-1-2014
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Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

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