As Jamie has pointed out the last three straight days, the Woeverines stink.
Friday W hitters had 32 plate appearances. I didn’t listen to 28 of them. In the ones I missed, Wolverine hitters got 0 hits and four walks.
When I realized (late in the day) what was going on, I decided to use all the tools at my disposal to effectuate change. That is, I turned on the MLB audio so I could listen to the last few innings of the Cubs/Pirates game, focusing all my force of will on Schwarber, Contreras and Bell to drag them across the line to hitting success.
I heard four of their plate appearances: a Kyle Schwarber groundout, a Willson Contreras double, a Josh Bell homer (his first of the season), and a Contreras pop-up. (After he ground out, Schwarber was benched, officially for defensive purposes.)
The Wolverines hit .000, .143, .000 when I wasn’t listening. They hit .500, .500, 1.250 when I was listening. I need to listen more.
Maybe. One needs to be careful about attributing causation to correlation. Could my attention to the W’s make them worse?
We can take a look at that question. Here are some excerpts from Fangraphs’ “leader” board of worst major league hitters, among those with at least 12 plate appearances.
|Lowest OPS thru Friday’s games (Min 12 PA)|
|19||Mallex Smith||KD, ex-OD||19||0.276|
These are all the current EFL players down through the 35th worst hitter in MLB at the moment, plus a few others of interest.
- Clearly, association with the Woeverines is toxic to MLB hitters. And the toxicity doesn’t always wear off when they move on to other teams.
- Note Austin Hedges’ position as the worst of the worst! Christian Yelich has actually done more damage to his team’s offense this year …
|FG Offensive Runs Above Replacement|
|15||Ronald Acuna Jr.||BC||37||-3.1|
… at nearly -0.2 runs created every time he’s entered the batter’s box. This is shocking for the guy who, upon his 2018 escape from Old Detritus, miraculously overcame the Ex-Wolverine Curse by immediately earning the AL MVP and repeating that level of performance in 2019. It turns out the antibodies to the EW Curse do not endure.
But notice who is doing the MOST damage to his team’s offense per plate appearance: Austin Hedges, who, compared to a replacement player, costs his team over a quarter of a run every time he advances to the plate.
And yet he was allocated in Old Detritus at 100% for the entire month of July.
A terrible hitter can’t sink his team all by himself. He needs help from equally incompetent management to get into the lineup and stay there. And in July he got all the help he needed. Sigh.
3. Oh, and Riley and Vogelbach were also allocated 100% in July. It takes careful management to be able to wring every bit of damage out of one’s lineup in these tumultuous times.
4. Maybe listening helped Friday. But there is quite a bit of evidence that MLB hitters are better off when Wolverine management isn’t paying them any attention. Old Detritus under average management would have about 1/30th of the worst hitters in MLB. Instead it has more than 1/12th of the worst OPSers, and 2/15ths of the worst offensive runs “above” replacement.
OD has about 4 times as many bad hitters as it would had I drafted them at random! There’s a confidence builder. And a hint at what my draft strategy should be tomorrow.