Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
not groundbreaking stuff, but i think it’s somewhat interesting.
In a perfect world, a bench wouldn’t need to contribute much at all, because in a perfect world, all nine (or eight) starters would be so productive and so consistent that a bench would barely be needed. But that’s not how it works. People get hurt, people go through slumps and people simply need a rest now and then, so the luxury of having not only depth, but productive depth, becomes a pretty important and easily forgotten part of a roster’s construction. The difference between the best and worst bench units this year is already around six wins, so the value of a good bench can really add up over time and have a pretty significant impact on a season.
What I’ve done is attempted to find the best and worst bench units of the 2014 season, so far. In the American League, I’ve added up the WAR of all players after the top nine plate appearance leaders. In the National League, all after the top eight, to reflect for the absence of a designated hitter.
Biggest offenders: Freddy Galvis (-0.9), Tony Gwynn (-0.7), Cesar Hernandez (-0.7).
For some reason this just doesn’t come as a huge surprise. I mean, it probably should. The Phillies are one of the oldest teams in the MLB, with an average age of 30, so conventional wisdom would be to assemble a strong bench to prepare for the frailty of having an old roster. But it just doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Seems like the Phillies have been finding themselves at the bottom of a lot of lists lately. Tony Gwynn Jr. lucked into some playing time due to Domonic Brown being literally the worst player in baseball this year, but wasn’t much better. If there’s a positive to take from all of this, it’s that none of these players play for the Phillies anymore! At the same time, it also means that Reid Brignac, Andres Blanco and Grady Sizemore do.
Biggest helpers: Stephen Vogt (+1.5), Craig Gentry (+1.1), Kyle Blanks (+0.6).
Of course the A’s are on this list. They’ve seemingly been the master of the platoon for a couple years now, and their depth and bench management has been vital to their recent resurgence as a franchise. Stephen Vogt is a weird catcher/right fielder hybrid who allows the A’s to DH John Jaso and still have a backup catcher without having to sacrifice a potential backup outfielder. The A’s traded for Gentry to serve as a fourth outfielder who provides both elite defense and speed, which is exactly what he’s done. And then there’s Kyle Blanks who I literally didn’t know was out of the Padres organization until I started doing this post, but it turns out he is and he’s been a monster so far in Oakland.
You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.
: OTP 20 Feb. 2017: Baseball in a Time of Politics
(1605 - 7:10pm, Feb 24)Last:
: Mike Piazza Learns How to Be an Owner. Of a Soccer Team. In Italy.
(171 - 7:07pm, Feb 24)Last:
: Kate Upton: No sex with Justin Verlander before games
(37 - 7:06pm, Feb 24)
: Why Joe Maddon sees Kyle Schwarber as the leadoff guy in Cubs lineup | CSN Chicago
(14 - 6:59pm, Feb 24)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3Newsblog
: Don Mattingly thinks pace of play can be improved by changing views on strikeouts
(62 - 6:55pm, Feb 24)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster playNewsblog
: Pump The Brakes On Kyle Schwarber? Well, Actually...
(16 - 6:47pm, Feb 24)
: MLB views Las Vegas as 'viable market,' Rob Manfred says
(63 - 6:44pm, Feb 24)
: Inside Baseball with Jon Heyman: Final offseason grades
(16 - 5:46pm, Feb 24)
Last: Walt DavisNewsblog
: OT - December 2016 NBA thread
(2536 - 5:41pm, Feb 24)Last:
: Are statheads “pro ownership?”
(23 - 5:27pm, Feb 24)
: Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-24-2017
(18 - 5:25pm, Feb 24)
Last: Hysterical & UselessNewsblog
: OT: January 2016 Soccer Thread
(284 - 5:21pm, Feb 24)Last:
Textbook EditorHall of Merit
: Most Meritorious Player: 2001 Ballot
(2 - 3:46pm, Feb 24)
Last: DL from MNHall of Merit
: Most Meritorious Player: 2001 Discussion
(21 - 3:25pm, Feb 24)
Last: DL from MNGonfalon Cubs
: Spring Training Open Thread
(14 - 2:39pm, Feb 24)
Last: Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist