Normally on a team that wins 97 games, there is a solid contribution from every player on the roster.
Greg Dobbs is the exception to the rule. Once a fan favorite, the Phillies faithful turned on the left-handed “infielder” for good reason. It’s tough to call Dobbs an infielder, simply because that would mean he had to field the ball, something that didn’t really ever seem to happen.
In a season riddled by injuries for the Phillies, Dobbs managed just a .196/.251/.331 season with 39 strikeouts in 163 at bats.
Many fans rejoiced when Dobbs was sent down in late June. But like a cat, he landed on his feet as he was recalled just five days later when Chase Utley and Placido Polanco went on the disabled list.
Dobbs defense was pretty laughable though. In 36 games at third base, Dobbs managed to put together an UZR of -5.1. Among the 51 infielders with at least 200 innings at third base, Dobbs came in at 40th. To put in perspective, had Dobbs been called on to play 150 games at third, he would have been 29.5 runs worse than an average fielder.
It’s easy to point out Dobbs’s inadequacies in roles he was never supposed to fill. However, Dobbs’s biggest downfall was in his main job, as a pinch-hitter. In 2008 as a cult hero, Dobbs led the majors in pinch-hitting at .355 (22-62) with 16 RBIs. This year, Dobbs managed to hit just .122 (6-49) with only four RBIs coming off the bench.
It is tough to go off a single season, especially as a pinch-hitter simply because you are going off such small sample sizes. However, when your job as a pinch-hitter is rewarded on mostly a year–to-year basis, those sample sizes can help you earn your next big paycheck, or they can be the reason that you are given your walking papers.
In this case, that is why Greg Dobbs will not be with the 2011 Phillies.
NICK’S GRADE: 0.5/10
Tomorrow: Domonic Brown