Crash Bag #4: Desi Relaford is Salty

In case you hadn’t heard, Desi Relaford thinks Phillies fans are trash. Here’s a counterpoint: Desi Relaford is trash. In parts of five seasons with the Phillies, Relaford came to the plate 1189 times and produced a 66 OPS+. In every single season Relaford was with the Phillies, he was below replacement level.

Here are his WAR totals with the Phillies: -2.0 fWAR and -1.8 bWAR. I have produced exactly 0.0 fWAR and 0.0 bWAR for the Phillies. Therefore, it’s logical to conclude that I’m a better  baseball player than Desi Relaford.

In short, Desi Relaford is a bum and deserves to be booed.

But to the original question, I have to admit; I don’t have much memory of Desi, trash or otherwise. I was only eight years old when Desi took his last plate appearance in a Phillies uniform. All I remember distinctly about Relaford was the way Harry Kalas said his name, which is the case for a lot of forgettable Phillies over the years.

Number two is probably him calling Phillies fans trash. Like I said, I have very little memory of this particular scrub from the late 90s.

I’m assuming J means the Phillies, but realistically this could apply to almost any team in Major League Baseball.

The obvious answer is that the Phillies don’t think Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, or Lance Lynn are worth the money/years they’re asking for (not to mention the  draft pick they’d forfeit), and it seems like most teams agree. I can’t say I necessarily fault the Phillies for holding the line on three years for Arrieta, who’s entering his age-32 season and has shown signs of decline.

Any of those three pitchers are good enough to immediately compete with Aaron Nola for the top slot in the rotation, but it seems the Phillies are content to enter the season with what they have unless the asking price comes down.

I’m also inclined to think that Scott Kingery reaches the Majors this year, but let’s not forget that Hernandez has been the Phillies’ second best position player over the past three years. In fact, MLB.com ranked Cesar as the seventh best second baseman in baseball earlier this offseason.

I think in the hype surrounding Kingery, a lot of fans have forgotten what Hernandez brings to the team. He’s a damn good player, and guys like him don’t grow on trees. That being said (and provided Kingery picks up this season where he left off in 2017), I think the Phillies look to move him closer to the trade deadline for pitching.

Regarding Hernandez’ market, I took a look at the top ten projected teams by FanGraphs as an approximation of who might be a buyer at the deadline. In order: Astros, Cubs, Yankees, Dodgers, Indians, Red Sox, Nationals, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Angels. Of those teams, only the Yankees really have a huge hole at the keystone. That’s not much of a market, and just last year, very few position players of consequence were moved at the deadline.

Of course, any team could surprise in the first half and look for upgrades in July. Some second baseman could get hurt and the team could look to upgrade. It’s just too early to tell.

Before spring training, I’d have thought Odubel Herrera would hit second, but in the last Crashbag, our evil Crashburn Alley overlord Matt had Carlos Santana batting second behind Cesar Hernandez and before Rhys Hoskins.

Sure enough, Gabe Kapler has slotted Santana in at the two spot in six out of the nine games he’s played this spring by my count. Nobody else has been there in more than two games, so I’d imagine that’s the way the Phillies will start the season.

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5 comments

  1. Tim

    March 09, 2018 06:08 PM

    Oddly enough, I also have 0.0 fWAR for the Phillies, but I have 0.2 bWAR. Defensive metrics are weird like that.

  2. Andrew R.

    March 09, 2018 06:49 PM

    You’ve identified only the Yankees as having a huge hole at second, huh? So Cesar WON’T block Kingery, but he WILL block Gleyber? Yeah, ok.

    • Michael Schickling

      March 12, 2018 08:48 AM

      Torres has huge potential, but he only has 235 PAs above A-ball. For a team like the Yankees who are looking to win the World Series, potential and promise might not be enough this season.

      The Phillies, however, are operating like a decent team instead of an elite one. For them, potential and promise is just fine.

    • Matt Winkelman

      March 12, 2018 03:20 PM

      Make gave his opinion, but a big difference in the two prospects is that Kingery is really 2B only when we talk about everyday positions, Torres is 2B/SS/3B. It makes it much harder to block him if he is actually ready.

  3. Bad News Boars

    March 10, 2018 10:04 AM

    I have a pretty good Relaford story. In April 2000, my wife and I visited the in-laws in Florida. They take us to a Phillies-Marlins game, and spring for tickets in the 5th row, just to the third base side of the plate. The stadium has maybe 4,000 fans in it.

    Every time Relaford comes to bat, a guy about 25 rows behind us does a Desi Arnaz impersonation, shouting out “Lu-u-u-cy”. After the game, the guy is acting like him distracting our 8 hole hitter is the reason the Marlins won.

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