There is no end to the fun one can have by playing in baseball-reference.com's Play Index. To say that this premium feature of the site is worth every penny that's paid for it, is an understatement. One such search this morning led to what seems to be a very fun fact. These findings are not only interesting, but they may be interesting to those who play fantasy baseball. Though, as you are about to see, the groans they utter at these findings won't be big news if they have these players on their fantasy teams. This little post is about players who contributed zero to their team's offense for a significant chunk of the season.
First of all, you won't find Jorge Posada on this list of woe. His ability to at least walk regularly takes him out of the mix. This find was all about finding players who had the most amount of games so far where they didn't provide a hit, a walk or even a hit by pitch. They drove in no runs. The search was also going to include no sacrifice bunts. But since the Fan ran out of room on his search there was no way to preclude that statistic in these findings. But, that's just as well because this Fan hates sacrifice bunts and never thinks giving up an out is worth the trouble. The Yankees again proved this fact out when they encountered Soria down by a run in the bottom of the tenth inning last night. Soria couldn't find the strike zone if he had a halogen lantern. He walked Russell Martin on four pitches and none were close. The Yankees insisted in having Brett Gardner sacrifice instead of waiting out Soria. They even did so when Soria fell behind in the count. Gardner got his sacrifice, but the Yankees only tied the score instead of winning the game which another out might have given them.
But wait, the Fan got seriously off track there. That's what talking about bunts will do. Anyway, the following list are those players who lead the majors in games where they got at least four plate appearances and did nothing...nothing at all.
The leaders at eleven games each: Vernon Wells and Dan Uggla. Both players were acquired by their present teams (The Angels and Braves respectively) to boost the offense. And yet both have managed to play at least thirty-two percent of their games while offering absolutely no offense. Oh, perhaps they might have moved a runner along with the old saw about hitting it to the right side with a runner on second. Somebody needs to study if that is really valuable or not. But other than those instances, these two guys, who were acquired for offense have each had eleven games where they were notably absent from that offense. Wells has an OPS+ of 48 so far this season. Ugly. Dan Uggla has an OPS+ of 84. Hardly what those teams were hoping for. But there is a lot of season left.
Those just behind with ten games of nothingness: Juan Pierre, Austin Jackson, Ryan Ludwick, Dan Johnson, Carl Crawford, Chone Figgins, Mark Ellis and Ian Desmond. It must surely suck for those who root for the White Sox and Tigers that their lead off guys are on this list. Their sole job is to get on base, right? Yet, in thirty percent of their games, they have been invisible. Both Jackson and Pierre have some amazing statistics. Jackson has already struck out fifty times. He's well on pace for 200 or more. Pierre, once he does get on base, has managed to get thrown out stealing eight times in fourteen attempts. So when he finally gets on base, he doesn't stay there. Of all the people on either list, only Dan Johnson has lost playing time.
Just for reference, the leaders last year in games where the player offered no hits, no walks, no hit by pitches and no RBIs were Carlos Lee (38), Miguel Tejada (37), Garrett Jones (36) and Aaron Hill (30).