League Updates Old Detroit Blog

Woeverines are “leading” the league

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)  
MLB Rank Player EFL  PA OPS
1 Austin Hedges OD 16 0.000
2 Hunter Pence BC 22 0.045
3 Gary Sanchez HD 16 0.063
8 Willie Calhoun PP 14 0.143
9 Danny Santana KD 17 0.176
10 Miguel Sano HD 17 0.176
12 Kevin Newman BC 22 0.237
13 Christian Yelich ex-OD 28 0.220
18 Nick Ahmed ex-OD 28 0.259
19 Mallex Smith KD, ex-OD 19 0.276
20 Francisco Mejia CC 14 0.298
21 Brandon Drury ex-OD 17 0.301
23 Daniel Vogelbach OD 13 0.322
31 Raimel Tapia HD 25 0.354
33 Yasmany Grandal PR 21 0.356
34 Austin Riley OD 26 0.371
35 Cody Bellinger ex-BO 39 0.372

These are all the current EFL players down through the 35th worst hitter in MLB at the moment, plus a few others of interest. 

Some notes:

  1.  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. 
  2. 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  
MLB Rank Player EFL  PA Off
1 Christian Yelich ex-OD 28 -5.4
2 Hunter Pence BC 22 -5.0
3 Cody Bellinger ex-somebody 39 -4.4
5 Kevin Newman BC 22 -4.2
6 Nick Ahmed ex-OD 28 -4.1
7 Austin Hedges OD 16 -4.1
10 Danny Santana KD 17 -3.5
11 Gary Sanchez HD 16 -3.5
12 Miguel Sano HD 17 -3.3
13 Austin Riley OD 26 -3.2
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. 







1 Comment

  • And here is the exciting Old Detritus Woeverine lineup for today, August 1, 2020:

    Player Pos BA

    Profar 2b .125
    Jimenez cf .267
    Contreras rf .300
    Schwarber lf .200
    Bell dh .185
    Devers 3b .172
    Toro ss .167
    Vogelbach 1b .091
    Smith c .077

    Keller sp 1 – 0, 1.80 ERA.

    An entire lineup! (With Toro at a position he has played at some point in his life, and three lumbering outfielders.) Despite 4 games postponed by COVID and one by rain, taking out both my shortstops! (And Lux and Urias in mysterious purgatory on 30-man backup lists, and Brinson in deeper levels of purgatory than even that.)

    I predict both my team batting average (approx .187 for these batters) and my team ERA will increase today. The database will grudgingly award the W’s a win despite OD being outscored.

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