By now the bench has been a source of strife among Reds fans for several years. In a way, that’s nice. If you’re arguing about the bench players, it means a lot of other things are going wrong. Still, I know I’m not the only wondering what Skip Schumaker gives that (for instance) the recently released Henry Rodriguez doesn’t. Anyway, here’s what I think from the bench:
2013 WAR: 1.1 (FanGraphs)
2014 Best Guess WAR: 1.5
Projected Difference: +0.4 WAR
2014 Floor: -2.0 WAR
2014 Ceiling: 2.0 WAR
First, note that this includes players with 100+ PAs. Second, I have included Hanigan from last year and Pena from this year in the totals. In 2013, pretty much all of the bench value is Chris Heisey, who was basically league-average in limited playing time. Second note that there’s a lot of crappiness on the bench. Schumaker and Bernadina both read as replacement-level (or worse) to the projection system. Various backup infielders rate just a tic above that and Heisey looks to be pretty decent, especially for a fourth outfielder.
The end result is that there isn’t really anything to get excited about here. It’s the bench, and it’s not a very good bench despite costing a little bit of money. If any of these guys (except, maybe, Heisey) plays a lot, it’s a big problem. Let’s all hope the starting eight stay healthy and perform.