I can’t find an article on this anywhere, but Brian McTaggart has tweeted that the Astros have signed Jack Cust, a guy who can NOT field at ALL, to a 1 year deal plus an option.
He’s one of those TTO (Three True Outcome) guys that the moneyball guys used to fall all ovah BITGOD – he walks a lot, strikes out a lot, homers a lot, can’t run a lick and has a lead glove.H e was drafted in the first round by the Dbax in ’97, got drooled all ovah by the stat geeks, but not by the Dbax Organization, who traded him to Colorado for a LOOGY. He spent the next 2 years in their monors, except for a cup of coffee, in which he stank. He was traded to the Orioles in 03 for some 4th OF – seeing as how the NL teams realized right quick that a DH is a DH.
He hit very well in his first serious ML callup – an .878 OPS over 85 PA, but then he seriously derailed his career with his infamous baserunning screwup when he was with the Orioles back in o3. This got him a 3 year stint strictly in the minors. He was signed as a minor league FA with the Athletics (his first stint) in 05, then as a minor league FA with the Padres in 06, in which he had a 1.016 OPS at Portland, but got only 3 ML ABs. He remained with the Pads, in their minor leagues to start 07, but was traded to the Athletics because they needed a DH.
You notice I keep talking about DH, right?
Anyway, he had a .912 OPS in 07, a .851 OPS in 08 (when he broke the K/season record, which would soon be shattered by Mark Reynolds) and a .773 OPS in 09.
The Athletics, who didn’t exactly have a roster full of hitters, didn’t want him back in ’10, but ended up with him as a minor leaguer – he went up and down during the year, as they didn’t have anyone else who could, you know, like HIT, and he ended up posting an .883 OPS, with a .272 BA, his highest as a major leaguer, over 426 PA.
They really REALLY wanted nothing to do with him last year – he signed with the Mariners, didn’t hit at ALL, a .,673 OPS over 240 PA, then was released. He played in 6 games as a Phillies minor leaguer, went 5 fer 20 with 2 doubles, a homer and 3 walks before getting released. Which reminds me – I want to know why suddenly guys can’t hit at Safeco. Remember it was just a few years back that they had Edgar Martinez and Griffey and ARod and Bret Boone and Johjima all killing the ball? Why can’t even a hitter as good as Adrian Beltre hit there any more?
And here, the Houston Astros, who definitely do NOT need a DH this year, have signed him to a ML contract. He hasn’t played 6 full years in the majors even at this time and is considered a 3rd year arb player, believe it or not.
You notice I keep talking about DH, right? Well, he’s played 670 ML games, 1725.1 innings and has 10.7 total WAR and a negative 2.9 defensive WAR (meaning he’s bad.) He has a negative 42 runs saved above average (per Sean Smith, bbref) and a negative 29 Total Zone total fielding runs above average. To compare, Michael Bourn, back in 2010, had 1189 innings, and his respective numbers were PLUS 25 and PLUS 16 – and you notice how many fewer innings we’re talking about. You don’t want to even hear about his fielding percentage or range factor – or the lack thereof.
To summarize, he’s worse than Clank at his worst. Remember Mike Lamb trying to play LF back in 05 (shudder) or Biggio in left in 04? That’s what I mean by DH. I’m hoping they intend to use him as this year’s lefty PH, unless he’s going in the minors. I don’t know what this means for JB Shuck or Bogusevic, but what can I say?
Oh yeah – before I forget – Cust was named in the Mitchell report. He denied it all, and was apparently believed – at least nobody called him before Congress to defend himself or accused him of perjury because he dared to disagree with George Mitchell’s report. Interesting that Roger Clemens didn’t get the same treatment, isn’t it?
Tags: Houston Astros