Less Than Zero for the Zeroes - Worst Reds of the Decade

With all of the attention recently focused on the all-time great Reds and best Reds of the decade, I'm feeling a little disconnected from reality after rooting for a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2000. So what brought us down this decade? Or more specifically, who? Below is my highly subjective list. My cutoff was 300 PAs or 200 IP (higher threshold for pitching due to the variability). I looked only at performance and tried to divorce the player's salary or expectations from the list. So who do you think was the biggest stinker for the decade?

  1. Jose Acevado. 304.3 IP, 222/97/58 K/BB/HR, 5.59 ERA, 5.86 RA, 5.17 FIP. Like Jose Rijo, Acevado is related to Juan Marichal. Like Eric Milton, Acevado gave up a historic number of homeruns. One of those facts is more relevant than the other.

  2. Juan Castro. .237/.276/.353/.628, 61 OPS+, .269 wOBA, -4.6 WAR. Easily the WAR "leader" here, I can't get too worked up about Manos given that he accumulated it over several years and rarely played as a regular. Plus, TotalZone is particularly harsh on Castro. FanGraphs has him at about a zero WAR for his Reds tenure. Negative rating or no, the Fiastro defines the Narron legacy as well as any single event in my mind.

  3. Ryan Dempster. 204.3 IP, 150/108/40 K/BB/HR, 6.39 ERA, 6.61 RA, 5.27 FIP. Maybe the most infuriating player on the list. Dempster had two decent years with Florida before coming to the Reds in a trade for Juan Encarnacion and others in July 2002. After 1.5 years of injurious suckitude, Chicago took a free agent flier on Dempster, patiently waited for him to rehab, and then enjoyed about 12 WAR since.

  4. Brandon Larson. 332 PA, 570 OPS, 49 OPS+, .258 wOBA, -1.4 WAR. Why it's important to look at a prospect's age as well as his performance.

  5. Eric Milton. 370.3 IP, 231/103/73 K/BB/HR, 5.83 ERA, 6.23 RA, 5.34 FIP. Signing a flyball pitcher coming off a flukishly good 14-6 season was not a good idea. Paying him so much that you made the Yankees flinch made it an awful idea. Milton's K/BB ratio was actually tolerable, but by his nature he allowed a lot of HRs and balls in play. It didn't help that two statues were playing in the outfield.

  6. Corey Patterson. 392 PA, .205/.238/.344/.582, 50 OPS+, .238 wOBA, -1.0 WAR. I was originally going to make my cutoff 400 PAs but lowered it to include Two-Pitch AtBaterson. Talking about the worst Reds of the decade without him would be like talking about the worst U2 albums and not mentioning Zooropa. It might not be the worst, but it has to be in the discussion. Anyways, it's pretty rare to have that low of an OBP. Including Patterson only five players have had an OBP lower than .250 in as much playing time. Two of the other four turned the trick before joining the Reds.

  7. Willy Taveras. 437 PA, .240/.275/.285/.559, 48 OPS+, .247 wOBA, +0.4 WAR. Offensively it's about a wash between Wee Willy and Corey. Taveras had a better OBP and SB numbers (25/6 versus 14/9), but Patterson had much more slugging. TotalZone likes Taveras' fielding much more than RZR (14.1 RZR/150 games), though both WARs give Taveras an advantage (per Fangraphs: -0.3 for Taveras, -1.2 for Patterson).

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