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The Season that Was: Mark DeRosa

Here is the professional hitter.
Here is the professional hitter.

The Blue Jays signed Mark DeRosa on January 22nd.

I guess he fills Omar Vizquel's role of 'old guy on the bench who we don't want to see in games'. He is a right-handed batter which Alex Anthopoulos sai he wanted for the 25th man.

To make room the Jay have designated 'best stuff in the system' Sam Dyson for assignment.

He was signed to be the good guy in the clubhouse and to be Brett Lawrie's babysitter. I'm not a big fan of the idea of a clubhouse chemistry, I figure winning takes care of that, but he is credited with helping Lawrie. I wish I could my $750,000 for doing something that can't be measured. Maybe he did help Brett. Brett seems to think so.

In our prediction thread, we all guessed he would play far fewer games than he actually did. We hoped he wouldn't be needed very much. Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And we keep repeating it. I thought he'd play 45 games and hit 220/.290/.240.

2013 38 88 204 23 48 12 1 7 36 0 0 28 49 .235 .326 .407 .733 100
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/17/2013.

He did hit much better than I thought.

Fangraphs has him at a 0.1 WAR making him worth $600,000 to the Jays, not all that much off what they paid him.

He had a BABIP of .272, a little below his career number of .306.  He walked a little more (11.9% up from 8.7%) and struck out a little more (20.8%, up from 17.3%) than his career numbers.

Most of his 'batted ball' numbers from 2013 were close to his career numbers. Line drives (20.3%, career 20.6), ground balls (45.6%, career 45.3) and fly balls (34.2%, career 34.1). More of his fly balls left the park than normal (13.0%, up from 10.2 career).

As usual, he hit LHP (.267/.368/.443) much much better than RHP (.178/.247/.342). He ended up playing too much against right-handers.

He hit with more power at home (.210/.289/.450 with 5 home runs), but got on base better on the road (.260/.366/.405 with 2 home runs).

Mark was pretty good with RISP, .276/.375/.466.

By month:

April: .161/.263/.323 with 1 home run, 6 RBI in 31 at bats.

May: .243/.333/.514 with 2 home run, 12 RBI in 37 at bats.

June: .216/.310/.324 with 1 home run, 3 RBI in 37 at bats.

July: .294/.368/.647 with 3 home runs, 6 RBI in 34 at bats.

August: .152/.256/.242 with 4 RBI in 33 at bats.

September: .344/.432/.375 with 5 RBI in 32 at bats.

July was fun was it.

On defense he played a bunch of spots:

  • Third base: 154 innings, 4 errors, .915 fielding average. -31.6 UZR/150.
  • Second base: 152.2 innings, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding average. 2.1 UZR/150.
  • First base: 96.0 innings, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding average. 9.1 UZR/160.
  • Left field: 1 inning.

He looked horrible at third base early in the season. I really didn't want to see him play second base but he did look better there. He talked about it being tough getting used to the speed of the turf. He played most of his third base early in the season, so maybe we can credit the big negative UZR to learning the field. Might as well say it again, the Jays really should have, at least, a practice field in Dunedin with the same kind of turf as they have at Rogers Centre. I remember Evan Longoria has some troubles fielding at Rogers. He made 4 official errors in 9 games, and if my memory is right, he had more troubles that weren't deemed errors.

The Jay were 23-29 in games Mark started.

His longest hitting streak was 4 games, longest on base streak was 6 games.

His favorite team to face? Well, he went 4 for 6 with a double and a home run in 2 games against the Dodgers. He did great in Inter-league games, hitting .395/.439/.658 in 14 games against the NL.

His least favorite team to face? Mark was 0 for 15 with a walk in 4 games against the White Sox.

I'll admit I had a hard time warming up to DeRosa. He looked awful playing third base at the start of the season, when Brett Lawrie was hurt. And then, Buck and Pat talked about him being a 'professional hitter' seemingly during every one of his 236 plate appearances.  As much as their idiocy wasn't his fault, I had a hard time not holding that against him. Please, Buck, Pat, next season make sure you have more than one thing to say about each player when they are up at the plate. Don't say the same thing every frigging time.

In reality, he was a good guy, a fun interview and really not a bad player. He just played too much. When a guy has as long a career as DeRosa has had, without being a particularly good player, you can bet he is a good guy. Careers like that don't happen for bad guys. He seemed to enjoy Munenori Kawasaki.

We could have done a lot worse with the veteran presence guy. I mean, we had Kevin Millar in that role not long ago.

I'm sure he'll be very good as a baseball commentator.

I wonder who will fill the role of 'old guy that plays too much' for the Jays next season.