Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 9/2/12

Clint Barmes is having a miserable year with the bat. I don’t really care, though. He could hit .000 and his glove would more than make up for his awful bat. I’m kidding. That’s a ridiculous notion. Barmes’ inability to provide any tangible offense continues to weigh this team down.

That got me to thinking about two players from the 1980s. They weren’t full time players, so their at bats were pieced together over the years, but they put up similar lines to what Barmes has done in 2012.

Heading into the game of Saturday September 1, Barmes, who was 0-3 before being lifted mercifully for a pinch hitter, posted the following numbers:

380 at bats
28 runs
84 hits
15 doubles
1 triple
6 homers
39 RBI
8 walks
90 strikeouts
.221/.247/.313/.561
55 OPS+

Mystery player #1 played for the Pirates primarily from 1980 to 1986
545 at bats
39 runs
126 hits
30 doubles
0 triples
5 homers
48 RBI
12 walks
66 strikeouts
.250/.265/.339/.604
67 OPS+

Mystery player #2 was primarily a Pirate from 1978 to 1986
359 at bats
31 runs
96 hits
14 doubles
0 triples
6 homers
4 RBI
11 walks
94 strikeouts
.267/.292/.357/.649
78 OPS+

That looks like your run of the mill, mediocre, good glove/no hit utility guy. Any guesses who the mystery players are?

Player #1 is Rick Rhoden. Player #2 is Don Robinson. They were both pitchers. This isn’t entirely fair because Robinson and Rhoden rank among the best hitting pitchers of all-time. There was talk of turning Robinson into an outfielder when he was having persistent injuries that kept him from pitching.

Nonetheless, if the Pirates were in the AL and either Rhoden or Robinson were on the 2012 team, it would make sense for either of them to hit and have the DH hit in place of Barmes in games they were pitching. Clint Barmes should be the fifth shortstop option on this team right now. Jordy Mercer. Josh Harrison. Brock Holt. Chase d’Arnaud. Any of of them before Barmes. In the late innings of a close game when the SS spot in the order isn’t due up soon, Barmes should be used as a defensive replacement. Nothing more.


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