Delgado’s comeback attempt: Finished? I think so.

4 09 2010

Posted by MagicSox

August 7th, 2010.  Nearly four weeks ago, the Red Sox signed Carlos Delgado to a minor league contract.  A team rocked by injuries harder than any in the past decade, our MVP-caliber first baseman was out for the year, and our starter was (and sadly still is) Mike Lowell.  Being an optimistic fan, I looked at the best-case scenario: we have the 30th-ranking home-run hitter of all time (who jacked 30+ for 11 out of 13 seasons between 1996 and 2008),  someone who hasn’t posted an OPS below .700 since 1995, and who hit .298 with 38 longballs in his last full season (2008).  His career WAR also averages out to around 3.0, which definitely helps a club in a playoff race.  I purposely ignored his subpar UZR, but a true offensive threat is needed when you have guys like Bill Hall being relied on for big contributions.

Of course, there were the injury concerns.  He’s 38, which in baseball years is around when you start to become increasingly brittle.  Hell, he only had 94 ABs last year.  It was anyone’s guess as to how he’d hold up in the majors.  But I was greatly looking forward to

Carlos Delgado's comeback attempt to the "Big Show" has not gone as planned for the Red Sox.

The Sox signed him on a minor league deal, where he’d report to AAA Pawtucket.  Local attendance was boosted tremendously: former all-star, coming to McCoy Stadium and hitting cleanup for the PawSox.  Count myself as one of the people who punched a ticket to see him.  Turns out, it was a waste of money.  I didn’t see any bombs, or timely hits, or even any hits for that matter.  A couple of strikeouts and a couple of groundouts are not what I expect from a two-time all-star.  However, the biggest waste of money was the cash that the Red Sox set aside for his contract. In only five games for Pawtucket, he went 3-13 while going down on strikes a whopping 46.2% of the time, not to mention a dismal .231 slugging percentage.

Instead of looking like a seasoned big-league veteran, he looked like a recent call-up from AA still wet behind the ears.  What pisses me off is that the Red Sox apparently didn’t see anything wrong in his workout.  If he was this rusty, why was he even signed?  If anything, he took valuable field experience from a prospect (Lars Anderson) who could realistically see some big league time in 2011.

Delgado was placed on the disabled list on August 21st, just two weeks after joining the team, due to hip soreness.  He hasn’t played since, and with the minor league season nearly over, I think that the Red Sox have seen enough of him.  While a good idea in principle, Delgado’s body cannot withstand playing everyday in the majors again without injury, and his skill seems to have eroded.  With that said, hopefully we can have Youkilis back at first by opening day and forget about Delgado.