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The God-Awful Phillies Career of Abraham O. Nunez

No one here at The Good Phight was a fan of signing Abraham Nunez for the ridiculous contract Pat Gillick gave him.  Many of us would not have even been fans of giving him a non-roster spring training invite.  My detailed explanation why, along with Alex Falzone's expansion on the same issue, can be found here.

But, now that the Nunez era is most likely behind us, how'd he actually do as a Phillie?  Did he live up to his contract, which I argued was based on a fluke 3-month stretch in 2005 when he had an .863 OPS, as compared with the rest of his then-nine-year career, when he had an OPS of about .600?

Anyone watching Phillies games over the past two years knows the answer to that.  He was awful.  But, exactly how awful?  Here's the chart I used when he was signed, updated to include his 2006-07 numbers for the Phillies:

pre-2005 0.238 0.306 0.316 0.622 1489 278 142
2005-Part 1 0.240 0.289 0.275 0.564 225 41 15
2005-Part 2 0.337 0.404 0.459 0.863 196 22 22
2006-07 0.221 0.310 0.277 0.587 574 106 71

The numbers speak for themselves: he was god-awful as a Phillie, about what you'd expect if you looked at his entire career without the three month fluke in the middle of 2005 (denoted "2005-Part 2" in the chart).

Well, what about his defense? Keeping in mind that focusing solely on his defense, which was the value he had at the end of his Phillies stint, is revisionist history, it was indeed better than other options, particularly Greg Dobbs. Nunez's range factor was certainly excellent. But I can't find any advanced metrics indicating it was anything more than slightly above average. Dave Pinto's probabilistic model of range shows him slightly above average; Baseball Prospectus' stats show he was only a few runs above average both years; and his .711 RZR at Hardball Times would put him above average, but not excellent, if he had made it on the list of qualifying third basemen in the NL.

So, in exchange for slightly above average third base defense, the Phillies got a full season's worth of plate appearance from a guy who hit to the tune of a .587 OPS. With the Phillies' terrible pitching over the past two years, the offense needed more from third base than Abraham Nunez.