Friday, June 3, 2016

The Omar Problem

The first update in All Star voting was released this week and, predictably, baseball writers far and wide freaked the hell out. Apparently it's a big deal that Omar Infante is second behind Jose Altuve. Last time I checked, the player finishing second doesn't receive an automatic invite to the game. Maybe that changed last winter. I don't know. I was on a pretty big World Series high and may have missed a few things.

I feel comfortable in believing that Infante will not get voted in this year. The AL vote totals is once again an excuse for writers to step up on a soapbox to express their outrage and dismay, Unsurprisingly Cubs fans have been spared the same treatment because, you may want to sit down for this, writers have agendas. It's disrespect for the game when Paulo Orlando (131 OPS+) is eighth in voting but no big deal when Jason Heyward (74 OPS+) and Jorge Soler (83 OPS+) are top six.

Whatever. You be you, writers.

I'm all for chaos but I draw the line at voting for Infante. I didn't last year and haven't this year. If you want to vote all Royals, and that's your right, then I suggest writing in a younger, and so far better, option.

There is an Omar problem, though, but it has nothing to do with the All Star game. He just isn't a productive player anymore. Eighty-two players have come to the plate a thousand times or more in a Royals uniform and eighty-one have a higher on-base percentage than Infante.

Rk Player OBP OPS+ PA From To BA SLG
1 Omar Infante .269 64 1179 2014 2016 .238 .328
2 Yuniesky Betancourt .276 80 1079 2009 2012 .248 .395
3 Onix Concepcion .277 58 1130 1980 1985 .238 .293
4 Buck Martinez .277 69 1073 1969 1977 .222 .322
5 Darryl Motley .281 88 1401 1981 1986 .245 .405
6 David Howard .289 56 1586 1991 1997 .229 .302
7 Frank White .293 85 8468 1973 1990 .255 .383
8 Steve Balboni .294 101 2201 1984 1988 .230 .459
9 Bob Oliver .296 96 1550 1969 1972 .255 .406
10 Alcides Escobar .297 76 3415 2011 2016 .264 .343
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/3/2016.

I don't know what Kansas City's options are at this point. He has zero trade value and I can't see Moore releasing him because of the money owed on the remainder of his contract. I suppose his presence will be easier to tolerate if he plays no more than once a week and never, ever bats fifth again. That will only happen if Whit Merrifield keeps hitting. So keep hitting, Whit. Please keep hitting.