Last offseason, the Houston Astros acquired Pedro Feliz in free agency in an attempt to solidify the left side of their infield. In addition to defensive prowess, Houston believed they picked up a veteran who knew what it took to win – Feliz had been a part of three of the preceding eight National League pennant winners -- in 2002 with the San Francisco Giants, and in 2008 and ’09 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Their investment of a one-year, $4.5 million deal was less than fruitful, as Feliz hit a robust .222 in 97 games with the Astros. Feliz was dealt to St. Louis in August for David Carpenter, a 25-year old catcher who was in single-A.
According to the ESPN Player Rater, Feliz has a rating of 3.0 entering play Friday. And while there are actually five players with at least 350 at bats in 2010 that have a rating lower than Feliz, one can argue that he truly has been the worst player in baseball this year. Though Feliz certainly cannot be held totally responsible for his team’s problems winning, it’s an interesting note worth looking at.
Feliz’ final appearance in an Astros' uniform came in a 3-2 loss to the Mets on August 18. After that loss, the Astros were 52-67 on the season, in fourth place in the NL Central. Feliz' departure -- paired with a successful Chris Johnson playing every day -- has coincided with an Astros record of 21-13 since the day he was traded.
His new team, the St. Louis Cardinals, has fallen into a tailspin, as well. After losing to the Milwaukee Brewers on August 18, the Cardinals were 65-53. Since then, the Cardinals are 13-21, and have fallen from three games back of the Cincinnati Reds to completely out of contention in the NL Central. Since the Redbirds acquired Feliz, they’ve hit .256 as a team. Before Feliz’ arrival, they hit .265 as a team.
Where Feliz’ Teams Would Rank
Let’s say the collaborative pre-August 19 efforts of the Houston Astros and the mess that is the Cardinals since picking up Feliz comprised baseball’s 31st team. The Fightin’ Felizes would rank 26th in runs scored per game, 25th in team batting average, and their win percentage of .425 would be on par with that of the last-place Washington Nationals. Only three teams would have a higher number of at bats per HR this season – the Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, and Feliz’s original team this year, the Astros.