The idea was to showcase a lineup of guys that were given way too long of a leash. You have to take in account some context when doing this as well. For the most part we avoided young players on bad teams. Even if they are bad those are the guys you want to get a chance. With that being said a few young guys made the list because they were so bad they had to be mentioned.
C - Rod Barajas -
This was a unanimous choice
1B - Randall Simon
The Pirates have a laundry list of guys that most casual fans would say "I don't remember him being a Pirate." My buddy's first draft came back with Daryle Ward. While Daryle was truly inept I countered with Simon and Lyle Overbay. Truth be told no wrong answer existed. We agreed to eliminate Ward on the fact that he played outfield too. Simon beat out Overbay because Randall had no track record or pedigree to really warrant playing. Simon as a Pirate had 514 career at bats and a -1.7 WAR.
2B - Jose Castillo - (Co Captain)
I say Co-Captain in the sense that he is one of the guys we knew had to be on the list. Castillo is a player where the narrative never really matched the production on the field. Announcers would always talk about his slick fielding and power bat. Truth be told as defensive metrics started to become a thing he never really graded out that well. While Castillo would showcase big power at times, he was so madly inconsistent that his bat was never close to being average.
The Pirates stuck with him over the course of a whopping 1765 at bats. He accumulated -2.7 WAR during his tenure. YIKES!
SS - Clint Barmes
We had some fun exchanges on this one. My friend had chosen Pat Meares and I had Barmes. It was truly a coin flip, but the narrative of Barmes was the deciding factor. A lot of the reason Meares was bad can likely be attributed to injury shortened seasons.
My vote for Barmes was more for the fact that he was a weak link on some good Pirate teams and that he was resigned after his original two year deal was over in 2013.
3B - Andy Laroche (Co Captain)
A sure fire pick for each of us. I told you that we tried not to penalize younger players but LaRoche was the main exception. First, he was centerpiece in the three team trade that sent Jason Bay to Boston and Manny Ramirez to LA. Obviously it is not uncommon for prospect oriented returns to fail, but the Pirates had to hit hear and LaRoche was so bad.
The other bad thing is that the Pirates did everything in their power to give him opportunity to play and develop and he just couldn't produce. Over the course of 1044 at bats he accumulated .6 WAR. Some secondary fallout occurred here as well. In order to keep LaRoche at third the Pirates traded away Jose Bautista for a minor league catcher.
OF - Jeromy Burntiz
OF - Jose Tabata -
OF - Lastings Milledge
SP - Jeff Locke (Co-Captain)
SP- Kevin Correia
Just a pitcher that wasn't any good that the Pirates decided to give too much opportunity. A very confusing signing that never really made much sense.
SP - Jon Niese
SP - Ryan Vogelsong
SP - Matt Morris (Write-in Candidate)
I put write in candidate because Morris didn't meet our innings pitched requirement. What Morris had was bad results at a very hefty price tag. The trade for Morris will go down as one of the more head scratching ones in Pirates recent history. When the Pirates traded Rajai Davis for Morris they also inherited 10 million in salary. All the warning signs were there that Morris was a shell of his former self. Maybe it would have made some sense to take him on if the Giants were eating the salary, but for some reason the Pirates took it on too. Of course Morris was eventually released the following season and Davis has had a very successful career as a fourth outfielder.
RP - Jared Hughes and Daniel McCutchen. -
Collectively these two had almost 500 innings and combined for - 1.7 WAR. Metrics hate guys that can't miss bats and that sums up these two perfectly.
So this was a fun project. It was fun taking a long standing email chain and adding some visuals. It wasn't an exact science, but I felt we captured the soul of the project.