Jeremy Guthrie would rather forget April 8.
That day, the former Kansas City Royals starter posted an astounding 135.00 ERA in a start for Washington that lasted two-thirds of an inning. He was promptly cut.
Even a bad month from these players might not be as atrocious as Guthrie's one 2017 appearance, but they sure aren't helping their teams right now.
The quintessential Rodney moment was back in 2015 in a game against the Angels. He came on, got out of a jam with a long fly ball to protect a one-run lead and shot his imaginary arrow. Trouble is, it was only the eighth inning. Here's what happened in the ninth:
It's always a high-wire act with Rodney, who was actually an All-Star last season after posting a 0.31 ERA with the Padres. After being traded to the Marlins at the break, he posted a 5.89 ERA. The Diamondbacks signed the now-40-year-old closer for 2017, and he has given up 15 runs in his first 11 ⅔ innings, including five to the Padres on April 26 in blowing a 5-3 lead. He blew a save and earned the loss in his next appearance as well. Based on win probability added –- or in his case, loss probability added -– he has been the least valuable pitcher in the majors. Trust him at your own risk.
The White Sox traded their best players in the offseason, so of course they're off to a surprising start. What's even more surprising is they're doing it even though they're near the bottom of the American League in home runs, batting average, walks, stolen bases and doubles. But the pitching has been great.
Anyway, Asche was dumped by the Phillies after nearly 1,300 plate appearances in which he hit .240/.298/.385. Not good. The White Sox signed him to be their primary designated hitter, which is a remarkable idea, and he's off to a 5-for-49 start with one extra-base hit, three walks and 18 strikeouts. You can't say they weren't warned. (Teammate Jacob May was sent down after a 2-for-42 start.)
The veteran first baseman was coming off a 34-homer, 101-RBI season with the Indians and received a lot of credit from teammates for his leadership skills and baseball aptitude. They let him walk as a free agent anyway, perhaps sensing he wasn't likely to repeat his 2016 numbers at age 35.
He's hitting .155 with 38 strikeouts and six walks in 110 at-bats, and while he can occasionally run into a mistake, he simply doesn't have the bat speed to catch up to good fastballs anymore. That was true last year when he hit .205 against fastballs, and now he's hitting only .167 against them. There's no timetable for Adrian Beltre's return, but when he comes off the disabled list, you might see Joey Gallo shifted to first base and Napoli to the bench.
Here's a name you didn't expect to see on this list. Schwarber was hitting .193/.313/.367 with a 31 percent strikeout rate through Friday. He'll improve on that production as he actually has cut his swing-and-miss rate from 34 percent as a rookie to 26 percent, but there's also nothing in his profile that suggests he's going to turn into an elite slugger. He's not the new Jim Thome or anything like that.
The bigger problem is he's been every bit the lousy defender we expected with minus-5 defensive runs saved through Friday. He's making 1.26 plays per nine innings compared with the league average of 1.80 for left fielders. He just doesn't have the range to play out there. That puts the pressure on his bat, and his slow start at the plate means he has been one of the least valuable players in the majors.
This one isn't a surprise, considering Weaver is coming off a 5.06 ERA for the Angels while leading the American League in home runs allowed. The Padres signed him because ... well, they needed somebody to start, although I'm not exactly sure what they were expecting Weaver to deliver.
He's 0-3 in six starts with a 5.51 ERA, with the monster figure of 12 home runs allowed in 32 ⅔ innings. Imagine if he had to pitch half of his games in Coors Field.
His fielding independent pitching is 7.48, so he's likely to regress even from that 5.51 ERA. It's sad to see, because he was once one of the most entertaining pitchers in the majors with his funky delivery and ability to get hitters to chase his slow stuff. Now, they just hit home runs off it.
Gibson had a good year in 2015, but he's ultimately a bad combination of a guy who doesn't strike out enough batters and a guy who doesn't have elite command. Among pitchers with at least 100 innings in 2016-17, he ranked 146 of 157 in strikeout percentage minus walk percentage. That has led to an unsightly 0-4, 8.20 start in six outings that includes six home runs in 26.1 innings. And two of his first five starts came against the hapless Royals offense. A loss to the A's in his sixth earned a demotion to Triple-A Rochester.
Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
There are plenty of hitters with a line worse than Hosmer's .271/.319/.393, but when you dig deeper, he has been even worse than those numbers suggest. You can start with the eight double plays he has grounded into; hey, that's what happens when you hit balls to the second baseman all the time. Going back to win probability, which factors in the score and inning of the game, Hosmer has been the 180th "most" valuable hitter among 183 MLB qualifiers. That's thanks to a .214 average with runners in scoring position entering Saturday, including 0-for-6 with the bases loaded or runners on second and third. In high-leverage situations, he was 2-for-28 through Thursday.
All this makes Hosmer one of the more intriguing players to watch the rest of the season. His free-agent value is cratering, not to mention his trade value if the Royals continue to flounder. If he doesn't start producing, you wonder if he'd go back to Kansas City on a one-year deal to try to improve his value (and change his swing like others have done to hit more fly balls).
What's with all the first basemen hitting like backup catchers? Gonzalez still has a professional approach at the plate, but it's like he's swinging with Top Ramen that has been sitting in your cupboard since 2013. He's hitting .255 but has no home runs. He's not that far removed from a big month -- .330 with six home runs last August -- so you have to think the power is there somewhere.
At some point, the Dodgers might face a dilemma: Cody Bellinger's best position is first base, although he's fine in left field. Would the Dodgers be better off with Bellinger at first and an Andrew Toles/Franklin Gutierrez platoon in left field? For now and when he's healthy, you stick with Gonzalez even though he has been below replacement level and hope he figures out how to turn on the ball again. Of his five doubles, three were right down the left-field line, and only one was pulled. His bat speed is on life support, and he just went on the disabled list for the first time in his career on Friday.
That's right, the best Gonzalez has been Marwin, who has eight home runs compared with the combined two of Adrian and Carlos. CarGo is known as a streaky hitter; when he hit 40 home runs in 2015, he had only four by the end of May. It's hard to believe a hitter can be worse than Gerardo Parra was in 2016, but with a .200/.268/.310 line, Gonzalez's park-adjusted OPS+ is 43, lower than Parra's 73. Among qualified regulars, Gonzalez has the sixth-lowest weighted runs created-plus. Curtis Granderson has the lowest, and he really deserves his own entry as well.
He has started 20 games playing for a team fourth in the American League in runs, and he has driven in two runs. Sometimes RBIs are worth paying attention to. After starting 2016 in the minors, Zunino was recalled and had a hot streak where he hit .280/.396/.707 in 26 games. Had he figured things out? Not really. He's back to striking out too much and flailing at anything off-speed.
He simply lacks the pitch recognition to ever fully tap into his power, and with a career average now of .193, time is running out on the Mariners counting on him -- and they demoted him on Friday. To make matters worse, his pitch blocking has been terrible as well with 16 wild pitches allowed in only 175 innings compared with 12 in 443 innings last year.
Others considered: Sam Dyson; Tim Anderson; Hisashi Iwakuma; Steven Wright; Joe Blanton/Blake Treinen/Shawn Kelley; Trevor Bauer; Madison Bumgarner's dirt bike; Dansby Swanson; Byron Buxton; Alcides Escobar; Mark Trumbo; Joe Mauer; Danny Valencia; Mike Fiers; Jose Bautista.