Posted by New Law Era
You don’t need advanced metrics to see that Pedro Feliz has been awful in 2010. In 304 plate appearances this season, the 35 year old third baseman is sporting a stat line of .221/.243/.311. Yes, you have read that correctly – a .243 on-base percentage and a .311 slugging percentage. The skinny nerdy kid that picks his nose and doesn’t shower probably has a higher on-base percentage than Feliz. The skinny nerdy kid probably hits for more power as well.
Crude, non-family friendly jokes aside, the point is that Feliz has been bad. According to the stat Wins Above Replacement, Feliz is a -1.5 WAR player. In layman’s terms, Feliz is costing his team wins.
The St. Louis Cardinals front office, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to acquire Feliz from the Astros for minor league pitcher David Carpenter. Due to regular third baseman David Freese being out for the season with injury and current third baseman Felipe Lopez having issues both offensively and defensively, the Cardinals seem to believe that Feliz is the solution to this problem.
With the way Feliz’ season has been going so far, I believe the Cardinals have made a bad move. Feliz is both an offensive and defensive downgrade from Lopez.
His batting line is more than enough evidence of that he has been worse than Lopez this season. (Lopez has a slash line of .246/.322/.360). If you want further proof, take a look at Feliz “stellar” weighted on-base average of .241 (Lopez, meanwhile sports a wOBA of .308). Now, I’m not saying that Lopez has been good offensively, but he is most certainly a better offensive option.
Well what about defense? Feliz fails there as well. While Feliz has been a great defensive third baseman throughout his career (UZR/150 of 15.6), he has been really bad this year (-7.9). Since we are only concerned about this year and not his career, this move makes no sense from the defensive side either. Regardless of why we are seeing a drastic regression at 3B defensively this season, the fact of the matter is that his defense will cost the Cardinals runs. Felipe Lopez once again has Feliz beat on defense as Lopez sports a UZR/150 of -0.7. Obviously Lopez is bad on defense as well, but he isn’t as bad as Feliz. I should, however, mention that Lopez’ hasn’t played as many innings of third base as Feliz has and that his sample size is rather small. Regardless, the move doesn’t seem to make sense.
Of course, there is that crazy chance that Feliz defies everything I have just described and Feliz could end up being the spark the Cardinals need to turn their recent slump around. I would be quite happy if Feliz proves me wrong. However, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Therefore, I believe the move to acquire Pedro Feliz made no sense at all.