Padres General Manager Josh Byrnes joined Darren Smith yesterday to give an injury update on Andrew Cashner. Byrnes didn’t go into much detail with Darren, but the team later released a statement saying that Cashner had irritation and soreness in his elbow. Fuck yeah no surgery! However, the Padres said there was no timetable for Cashner’s return, so there’s still a great deal of worry.
It was the second injury update, though, that I found more interesting. While answering the same fucking questions about Carlos Quentin, Byrnes went a little overboard with his praise for The Injured One.
“He’s too good of a hitter. I mean, I would view him as one of the top 20 or 30 hitters in all of baseball.”
As I was listened to this, I nodded my head in agreement, like when someone’s talking to you and you just want them to stop.
It made sense that Bynres thought Quentin was top 20 or 30 hitter. He’s obviously got the skill-set of one of the best hitter’s in baseball, and his bat-flip alone warrants a roster spot. So I decided to look up some numbers to confirm Byrnes’ belief.
– Only once in Quentin’s career has he been in the top 20 in offensive WAR (5.3 oWAR via Baseball Reference), which was in 2008 with the Chicago White Sox.
– Other than 2008, Quentin has never ranked in the top 30 of baseball in offensive WAR
– Quentin has ranked in the top 20 in baseball in OPS+ only once (2008).
– To Quentin’s credit, he’s posted excellent wRC+ whenever he’s played a significant part of the season (“significant” being relative here).
So, was Josh Byrnes wrong in saying Quentin is a top 20 hitter in baseball? We know about Quentin’s awesome power. His at-bats are a joy to watch, as he’s able to foul off tough pitches in order to find his pitch. And the bat-flip, MY GOD THAT FUCKING BAT-FLIP. Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter how great a hitter you are if you’re never on the field.
It feels like he’s still living off his MVP-caliber 2008 season. That’s the player some think Quentin still is, or at least the player he’s still capable of being. That player’s gone, and though he may still excite people with the occasional bomb, what’s left of him is a sad reminder of the type of player Byrnes believes in.
I contribute when I contribute. Find me on twitter at @haha1721. That’s a terrible “outro”. I’ll try to work on it.