Monday, April 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Byrd likely to disappoint Phillies

Not much to say here about the Phillies signing Marlon Byrd, other than that they are taking a gamble that is not likely to pay off.

Declining in 2011. Terrible in 2012, and suspended for PEDs besides. Twenty-four home runs and an .847 OPS in 2013 with the Mets and the Pirates. The Phillies have signed him for a reported 2 years and $16 million. It does not take a genius to see which of those three previous seasons the Phillies are fixated upon.

I will not pretend to tell the future here. But the past says that Byrd is a long shot to produce another season in 2014 that approximates what he did in 2013.

Consider:

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  • Is the Marlon Byrd signing a good move by the Phillies?
    Yes
    No

    In the last five seasons, there have been a total of 365 instances where a player aged 36 or older played in the major leagues.

    Of those 365, do you want to know how many times one of those 36-pluses had the 502 plate appearances required to qualify for the batting title and also had an OPS of at least .800?

    Ten.

    Ten out of 365.

    Here’s the list: Chipper Jones and Raul Ibanez in 2009, Hideki Matsui in 2010, Jones in 2011, Torii Hunter, Paul Konerko and Alfono Soriano in 2012, and Hunter, Carlos Beltran and David Ortiz in 2013. And that’s it.

    Ten out of 365 -- and every one of those players has a career OPS above .800. Six of the eight are above .820 for their careers.

    Byrd is at .761 for his career.

    I get that nobody is perfect and that everybody is a gamble, and that the 24 home runs in a sport where almost nobody hits 24 home runs anymore is worth more of a gamble. But the recent history of the sport and the pedigree of the player make you wonder. This really seems like a shot in the dark.

    This article originally appeared on DailyNewsLive on www.phillydailynews.com.

    Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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