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.
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.