Here it is everyone, the long awaited second part to the Post I made this morning. Now that i've set you guys up with a bright cheerful best case scenario, its time to do what Jerry usually does best, and crush all of your hopes and dreams with a worst case scenario. What if each player on the roster put up a season equivalent to the worst in their major league career? Read on if you dare find out. Note that WAR Scaled values are the WAR from their worst year scaled by the number of appearances that player is on pace to make this year.
|Pitchers||Worst Year||WAR||FIP||ERA||WAR Scaled|
*Takahashi, Valdes, and Mejia 2010 WAR are projected based on their current WAR scaled to their expected # of appearances. These values likely bear very little real predictive value, and their WAR scaled values are just current values for simplicity.
Total WAR, Pitchers: 1.5
My first note is that only Santana, BB-rod, and Big Pelf have always earned a positive value of WAR amongst players with at least a full year of experience on the roster. Of these three, two had their career worst years last year (Johan and BB) while Mike Pelfrey has steadily improved since his poor 2007 showing. Oliver Perez leads the charge as far as setting the bar low, with a -1 WAR season in which he had a FIP of 6.25 and an ERA of 5.85 in only ~100 innings. He is also one of the handful of players I could see realistically topping this performance at some point in the future. The Acostalypse has the worst historical season amongst bullpen players, as recently as 2008, when he managed a -0.4 WAR in 53 innings. Both Acosta and Ollie followed their best year immediately with their worst year, while Pelfrey and Niese followed their worst with their best. Note that our two highest paid pitchers both had their worst years last year. The caveat to this, however, is that even at his "worst" Santana's FIP was below 4, and his WAR was over 2, in a season cut short by injury. Even with his fastball down a bit in velocity, Santana at his worst is better than many pitchers at their best. I will make no such excuses for BB-rod, who by all accounts has declined fairly steadily over the past 6 years. Perez and Maine have managed the worst FIP values out of the rotation, both over 6, an impressive feat. I believe people should also take note that in 2007, Mike Pelfrey had the worst season of his career, and a fairly terrible one at that. In a season where one win gets us to the playoffs its something to think about, just saying... Thankfully he has shown steady improvement since that season. Overall the floor on this pitching staff is pretty low with Santana, Pelf, and BB the only things buoying it from a negative WAR value.
|Catchers||Worst Year||WAR||wOBA||UZR||War Scaled|
Total WAR, hitters: 1.0
On the offensive side of things, the picture doesn't get much prettier. Hank White managed a wOBA south of the Mendoza line in 2006, leading to the worst season amongst our catchers. Only three non-catching position players managed wOBAs under .300 in thier worst seasons, Alex Cora, Fernando Tatis, and Jeff Francoeur. Surprisingly, Cora was the only player of the 3 able to at least play competent defense during their worst season. The most inept season by any player currently on the team belongs to none other than our favorite center fielder, Gary Matthews Jr. who managed a -17.7 UZR just last year, leading to -1.1 WAR (This is approaching Betancourt levels of bad). Between his terrible defensive performance, and pitiful offensive performance last year, i'm not sure why we opted to trade any sort of matter, sentient or otherwise, for his presence but what's done is done. Angel Pagan and Alex Cora were the only two to manage positive UZR values during their worst seasons. Four players with at least one year of experience have managed to avoid negative WAR values over their entire career. These are David Wright (3.4), Angel Pagan (0.2), Jose Reyes (2.0), and Luis Castillo (0.6). I was personally surprised to find that Castillo, despite having no power and declining range, has still never had a season worse than 0.6 WAR. This is largely a function of his absurd plate discipline, something the other Mets could take note of. I would also like to take the time here to point out very clearly that the lowest WAR David Wright has EVER put up is 3.4. This is a WAR value that most teams hope for out of a position player, and this is his career LOW POINT. Granted it did come last year so the wound of his "terrible" season is still fresh, but look at the other worst season numbers around him and tell me how you can complain with how he has performed. He seems to be bouncing back pretty nicely this year despite seeing fewer pitches to hit.
Overall the All-Nightmare team is worth an astonishing 2.5 WAR, good for 50.5 wins over the course of a season. This number is more embarrassing in the sense that its still 10 wins over our team record for fewest wins. To compare, the Mets managed to win 55 games in the strike shortened season (1994).
The good news is only a few players are currently on pace to have seasons similar to their worst. On the pitching side, Acosta, Feliciano, and Santana are on similar paces to their worst seasons, while on the hitting side, Cora, Cats, Reyes, and Matthews are on pace for their worst seasons to date. Reyes and Santana likely will bounce back as the season progresses, as both are coming back from injury. Nobody should be surprised that Cora, Catalanotto, and GMJr are on pace for new lows, but we should be heartened by the fact that theres a lot of talent waiting in the wings for the day management realizes our bench is a walking, talking, swinging (and missing) punchline.
So overall just remember it could be a whole lot worse. This team has not yet begun to show you how badly it is capable of playing baseball should it set its mind to the task.