Stats & Info: Pedro Feliz

Feliz the worst player in baseball?

September, 24, 2010
Last offseason, the Houston Astros acquired Pedro Feliz in free agency in an attempt to solidify the left side of their infield. In addition to defensive prowess, Houston believed they picked up a veteran who knew what it took to win – Feliz had been a part of three of the preceding eight National League pennant winners -- in 2002 with the San Francisco Giants, and in 2008 and ’09 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Their investment of a one-year, $4.5 million deal was less than fruitful, as Feliz hit a robust .222 in 97 games with the Astros. Feliz was dealt to St. Louis in August for David Carpenter, a 25-year old catcher who was in single-A.

According to the ESPN Player Rater, Feliz has a rating of 3.0 entering play Friday. And while there are actually five players with at least 350 at bats in 2010 that have a rating lower than Feliz, one can argue that he truly has been the worst player in baseball this year. Though Feliz certainly cannot be held totally responsible for his team’s problems winning, it’s an interesting note worth looking at.

Feliz’ final appearance in an Astros' uniform came in a 3-2 loss to the Mets on August 18. After that loss, the Astros were 52-67 on the season, in fourth place in the NL Central. Feliz' departure -- paired with a successful Chris Johnson playing every day -- has coincided with an Astros record of 21-13 since the day he was traded.

His new team, the St. Louis Cardinals, has fallen into a tailspin, as well. After losing to the Milwaukee Brewers on August 18, the Cardinals were 65-53. Since then, the Cardinals are 13-21, and have fallen from three games back of the Cincinnati Reds to completely out of contention in the NL Central. Since the Redbirds acquired Feliz, they’ve hit .256 as a team. Before Feliz’ arrival, they hit .265 as a team.

Let’s say the collaborative pre-August 19 efforts of the Houston Astros and the mess that is the Cardinals since picking up Feliz comprised baseball’s 31st team. The Fightin’ Felizes would rank 26th in runs scored per game, 25th in team batting average, and their win percentage of .425 would be on par with that of the last-place Washington Nationals. Only three teams would have a higher number of at bats per HR this season – the Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, and Feliz’s original team this year, the Astros.

1st pitch: Strangely still at zero

April, 15, 2010
Today’s Trivia: Who is the all-time home run king while wearing No. 42 on the back of his jersey?

** On the day where baseball honors Jackie Robinson, everyone will be wearing number 42. Mariano Rivera is the last remaining player to call that number his own. Using’s Oracle of Baseball, you can get from Jackie Robinson to Mariano Rivera in a mere 4 steps. Robinson played with Gil Hodges who played with Ed Kranepool who played with Jesse Orosco who was Rivera’s teammate ever so briefly in 2003.

Quick Hits: Inspired by Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira both being homerless after 38 plate appearances, here are some other players with an unexpected zero in a stat column:

* Taylor Teagarden is hitless in 18 plate appearances, which is seven more than the next player, Andres Torres.

* Pedro Feliz has nine hits but has not scored a run.

* Rafael Furcal has 12 hits but zero RBI.

* Fresh of a 100-RBI season, Nick Markakis does not have one in 39 plate appearances.

* Jason Giambi has 10 plate appearances, but hasn’t hit a ground ball.

* Albert Pujols finished second in the NL with 45 doubles this season, but doesn’t have one this year. Of course, he does have those 5 home runs.

* Carlos Pena is tied for the MLB lead with five infield hits. Denard Span, who had 40 infield hits last season, doesn’t have one.

* Ramon Troncoso has thrown 5 2/3 innings with a 1.59 ERA but has no strikeouts.

* Wilton Lopez has allowed five hits, but zero singles.

* John Danks has allowed 10 hits, but none for extra bases.

* In 2006, Jake Westbrook led the majors by inducing 35 double plays. In 14 GIDP situations this season, he hasn’t had one.

Today’s Leaderboard: April 15 is Tax Day, so let’s see which bullpens have been the most taxed this season. The Nationals have averaged 4.4 innings per game out of their pen, which is currently sporting a 5.86 ERA. The Mets have the second most used relief staff, but sport a 2.08 bullpen ERA.

Key Matchups: Notoriously difficult to strikeout, David Eckstein has yet to fan this season in 31 plate appearances. But that hasn’t traditionally been the case against Tim Hudson, who has struck out Eckstein 13 times in 66 at-bats. No other pitcher has struck out Eckstein even half as many times.

Scott Kazmir has a 2.67 lifetime ERA against the Yankees, and it’s easy to see why. Derek Jeter is a .111 (4-36) hitter against him, his worst average against any pitcher he has faced 20 times. Alex Rodriguez has hit just .125 (3-24) against Kazmir, his second worst average against any pitcher he’s faced at least 30 times. However, this might be the game where Mark Teixeira breaks out. He is 7-for-11 against Kazmir with five walks.

Trivia Answer: Mo Vaughn, who wore No. 42 for his entire career, hit 328 home runs, most of anyone wearing that number.