2010 in Review: Casey Kotchman

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April 6, 2010: Seattle Mariners first baseman Casey Kotchman in action during the American League game between the Oakland A's and the Seattle Mariners. Oakland defeated Seattle 2-1 in 10 innings. Oakland, California.

Offense: Kotchman wasn’t an offensive addition.  He was a baseball player who happened to be better than Miguel Cairo.  By himself, he was really just a medium risk medium upside guy acquired in exchange for a seemingly broken Bill Hill.  Kotchman had excellent offensive seasons as recently as 2007 and 2008 for the Angels, and I would have laughed at anyone who told me that Kotch would post an OPS under .620 this year.

Casey Kotchman posted a .616 OPS for the Mariners in 2010.  He had a .229 wOBA, hit nine home runs in 457 plate appearances, and was worth 18.9 runs below average.  Even when it was clear that he wasn’t about to start hitting any time soon, Don Wakamatsu kept playing him.  It was painful to watch.  Here’s the most telling bit: Casey Kotchman was less valuable than Rob Johnson, according to WAR and wRAA.

Defense: Obviously, Casey Kotchman was billed for his defense. His UZR hadn’t dipped below 7 over the previous three seasons, and every scouting report on him praised his range and his glovework.  Process-wise, Jack Zduriencik made a nifty move in acquiring Kotchman to prevent the defensively-inept Mike Carp from playing first base.  Who would have though Kotchman would end up with his worst defensive season since he broke into the majors?  The heinous duo of good process and bad outcome struck again.  Kotchman was flat-out bad.

Outlook: Good riddance, Kotch.  Don’t return to the Mariners until you have remembered how to hit a baseball.  And if you do remember how to hit a baseball, make sure to do it in the NL.

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Tags: Bill Hall Casey Kotchman Jack Zduriencik Miguel Cairo Mike Carp

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