Fourteen Rookies: Not a Good Thing

Happy New Year, assclowns. Hope none of you got arrested…even I avoided it this time! High five!

But before we move on, I’ve got one more thing on the 2010 season that’s bothering me.

Bless You Boys recently listed their Five Favorite Stories about 2010. I completely agree with them on the career year of Miguel Cabrera and the contract extension of Justin Verlander. The “rise and fall” of Brennan Boesch was more depressing to me than a “favorite” thing. And though I consider Armando Galarraga’s imperfect game a case of tremendous luck against a team fielding mostly Double A talent, I understand its inclusion, especially for the class Mando showed afterward.

But the one “favorite thing” I can’t agree with and get behind from 2010 were the 10 rookie debuts for the Tigers. What is the obsession, at least among the online Tiger community, with rookie players? Especially bad ones? Take a look at the players that either made their debuts in 2010 or were otherwise technically still considered rookies.

Austin Jackson: 618 at bats, 102 OPS+
Will Rhymes: 191 AB, 107 OPS+
Alex Avila: 294 AB, 79 OPS+
Brennan Boesch: 464 AB, 99 OPS+
Scott Sizemore: 143 AB, 72 OPS+
Danny Worth: 106 AB, 77 OPS+
Casper Wells: 93 AB, 142 OPS+
Jeff Frazier: 23 AB, 40 OPS+
Max St. Pierre: 9 AB, 49 OPS+
Robbie Weinhardt: 29.1 Innings Pitched, 69 ERA+
Andy Oliver: 22 IP, 58 ERA+
Casey Fien: 2.2 IP, 47 ERA+
Jay Sborz: 0.2 IP, 10 ERA+
Alfredo Figaro: 14.2 IP, 64 ERA+

That’s 14 rookies, not including Daniel Schlereth, though I think he qualifies. (Just in case I’m wrong, I left him out.) Out of the 14, only three had numbers considered “above average”. Jackson and Rhymes barely made it, while Wells did his work in less than a hundred at bats…hardly enough to judge a guy. What I’m getting at here is quite simple: What’s there to be so happy about?

These players, for the most part, did poor jobs for the Tigers. Why do we get so weepy-eyed for guys stinking up the field, just because they’re young? No team with a two-bazillion dollar payroll should have 14 rookies taking up time on the field. Does anyone other than myself want to, you know, WIN baseball games?

Austin Jackson is awesome on defense and did a nice job overall. I love him. Rhymes hit over .300 and he and the rest of the Keebler elves do a top notch job making crackers. I get that. Boesch was Superman for the first half and the Invisible Man the second. Who knows what’s going to happen with him? Sizemore was hurt at the beginning of the year and might still have something to offer. Wells impressed with the bat in his short time.

The rest of these guys (except maybe Oliver) are dogsh-t. Avila isn’t going to hit, despite what the front office thinks. (Sorry, Pops.) Worth is worthless and will never be anything more than a utility option. Frazier and St. Pierre are career minor leaguers for a reason. Weinhardt might be an average middle reliever, if we’re lucky some day. Oliver is still at least a year away from being helpful. Fien, Sborz, and Figaro are all out of the organization already.

This was not a good thing, people. These kids and the fact that the organization had so little depth to cover the injuries to Carlos Guillen, Magglio Ordonez, and Joel Zumaya were the reason we were a third place team…and lucky to be third. Only the general sh-ttiness of Cleveland and Kansas City, and the superhuman efforts of Big Mig and JV kept us from finishing lower.

Championship teams do not win with rookies. And if they have rookies on the team, they’re usually, you know…GOOD. These guys were not good.  Or even average.

And the fact that there were so many of them was not a good thing, at least in the opinion of Your Party Host.

Now if we could’ve found some spots for Timo Perez, Mike Hessman, and Josh Anderson…sigh. Fine…I’m just as bad as the rest of ‘em with my weird favorites. Bite me.