Michael Martinez Is Bad

Ed. Note: I come up with the best article titles.

Back in October, the Phillies took utility infielder Michael Martinez off of their 40-man roster, moving him over to the Triple-A roster. In his two seasons as a Phillie, he posted a .188/.241/.272 triple-slash line — completely abysmal. You may recall Michael Baumann ranting about “Minimart” on one of our podcasts, and he had good reason. Finally, it seems, the Phillies will use him for his intended purpose: organizational filler.

Martinez’s career adjusted OPS (OPS+) of 40 is historically bad. Such futility — an OPS+ of 40 or worse — has only been achieved 24 times dating back to 1901 among players who have accumulated at least 350 plate appearances. Martinez is one of six to have accomplished the feat in this millennium.

Player OPS+ PA From To
Drew Butera 37 531 2010 2012
Michael Martinez 40 356 2011 2012
Brandon Wood 40 751 2007 2011
Kevin Cash 37 714 2002 2010
Donnie Sadler 39 861 1998 2007
Luis Ordaz 36 496 1997 2006
Jeff Schaefer 36 388 1989 1994
Gus Polidor 36 456 1985 1993
Ronn Reynolds 32 381 1982 1990
Houston Jimenez 24 438 1983 1988
Angel Salazar 36 932 1983 1988
Marc Sullivan 33 397 1982 1987
John Vukovich 20 607 1970 1981
Luis Gomez 40 1391 1974 1981
Tommy Dean 37 594 1967 1971
Casey Wise 32 352 1957 1960
Joe Lonnett 37 377 1956 1959
Red Hayworth 40 450 1944 1945
Chile Gomez 38 687 1935 1942
Ed Connolly 25 408 1929 1932
Frank Emmer 39 352 1916 1926
Ben Egan 27 379 1908 1915
Ed Gagnier 39 425 1914 1915
Bill Bergen 21 3228 1901 1911
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/20/2012.

How Martinez managed to stay on the roster beyond 2011, when he was a Rule-5 selection and needed to be protected by remaining on the 25-man, boggles the mind. Let us pray that 2012 is the last we have seen of his futility.

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15 comments

  1. BradInDC

    November 20, 2012 08:35 AM

    He may be bad with the bat, but he’s able to stand where shortstops are supposed to stand. Sometimes he catches the ball, too.

    Yeah, AAA sounds about right.

  2. TomG

    November 20, 2012 08:59 AM

    As someone who has been told many, many times that I, as a writer, seem to like very, very, very much to use many, many, many modifiers, not all of which are strictly necessary – or so my critics would claim (I myself dispute this) – I’d like to suggest that the title of this post could really, really, really use a few modifiers in order to convey accurately the historic level of Martinez’s suckitude.

    I humbly submit the following suggested emendation:

    “Michael Martinez Is Really, Really, Very, Very Bad. I Mean, Really.”

    Because, you know, broccoli is “bad”. MM is quite a few orders of magnitude worse than broccoli. Yes, that’s right: I’m suggesting he’s the Brussels sprout of utility fielders. Uh-huh: I went there, girlfriend.

    Then you could change the Ed. Note to say how much you like adverbs because sometimes too much is not enough and Michael Martinez is one of those times.

    Thanks. Have a really, really, etc. good day.

  3. MT

    November 20, 2012 09:03 AM

    Hey, John Vukovich is on that list. Maybe Martinez has a future in coaching or something.

  4. Richard

    November 20, 2012 10:13 AM

    I think Martinez managed to stay on the roster for two, possibly three reasons.

    In 2011, he had a genuinely productive month playing regularly in place of the oft-injured Polanco. So he actually contributed. And in other parts of the year, he wasn’t hurting what was a great team.

    In 2012, he got injured, and the Phillies also seemed to recognize that he wasn’t worth much. He only played because they were decimated by injuries and didn’t seem to be going anywhere. So, again, he didn’t really hurt them.

    He can play passable defense at 2, maybe 3, infield positions.

    But that’s about it. Time to go.

  5. Ryan

    November 20, 2012 11:11 AM

    I was expecting to see Steve Jeltz on that list.

  6. Frank Reynolds

    November 20, 2012 01:09 PM

    If I use the “eye test” for mini Mart I know he is one of the worst players I have ever seen. If I look at the stats I know he is one of the worst players anyone has ever seen.

  7. JB Allen

    November 20, 2012 05:26 PM

    Steve Jeltz was a beast. If he had managed just a few more games in his magical 1989 season, he might have finished with a career WAR of zero. And how sweet would it be if a 0.0 WAR was known as “the Jeltz Line?”

  8. John

    November 20, 2012 06:12 PM

    Cole Hamels had a better year with the bat than Martinez.

  9. Andre

    November 20, 2012 08:57 PM

    ^^^^ and they let Chad Qualls put on a Phillies uniform after that…..

  10. Bill Baer

    November 20, 2012 09:02 PM

    To be fair, you have to place a pitch very, very well to hit the minuscule area of the strike zone in which Michael Martinez could possibly hit a home run.

  11. Don

    November 21, 2012 12:03 AM

    M.M’s batting ave. was lower than most of the pitching staff. AAA is probably a little too optimistic.

  12. hk

    November 21, 2012 07:40 AM

    The good news is that it only took the front office and manager 434 plate appearances over Martinez’s age 28 and 29 seasons to discover that he’s not part of their long-term plans.

  13. Andrew Cleveland Alexander

    November 23, 2012 03:54 PM

    So, am I wrong here, or does this chart suggest that John Vukovich was not merely a light-hitting utility man but–with an OPS+ of 20 over his 11 year career–was actually the worst offensive player of all time?

  14. Bill Baer

    November 23, 2012 10:33 PM

    @ Andrew

    There’s survivor bias at play here: most bad players are not given enough playing time to qualify for the terrible leaderboards. But yeah, Vukovich is the worst qualified hitter (min. 500 PA) of all time. I would argue that there are a litany of slightly worse hitters who simply never got up to whatever threshold you choose to use.

    bbref.com/pi/shareit/0BjuY

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