The Most Useless Player on Every MLB Team
With the final 10 days of the 2012 regular season upon us, several teams are still in hot pursuit of playoff positioning, while a few others have performed up to a level that's afforded them breathing room down the stretch.
Newly minted prospects are emerging as stars on some teams, while veterans are still making their mark in other clubhouses down the stretch.
That's not the case for everyone, however, as there have been no shortage of players who have failed to produce and live up to expectations set forth this spring.
Here's a look at one of those players for each team.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Chris Young
Having hit more than 20 home runs four times, Chris Young is a known commodity for Arizona Diamondback fans.
Or so they thought.
This year hasn't gone nearly as well for Young. He's missed a number of games and has seen his numbers drop to levels he hasn't seen since 2009 when he finished with a .212 batting average and a career-low 15 home runs. He currently has 14.
Atlanta Braves: Eric Hinske
In his third season with the Atlanta Braves, Eric Hinske has been in a steady decline each season.
He batted .256 in 2010, .233 in 2011 and this season he's below the .200 mark for the first time in his 11-year career.
In his previous seasons in Atlanta, he never showed the power he did earlier in his career, but it's taken a major turn southward in 2012, as he's gone deep only twice in 86 games.
Baltimore Orioles: Endy Chavez
No matter how the 2012 season ends for the Baltimore Orioles, there will no doubt be a number of players who will have made real contributions to the team's revival.
Endy Chavez is not one of those players.
Multiple trips to the disabled list and a lackluster batting average actually pushed Chavez to Triple-A temporarily. And since returning to the Orioles, he's made few tangible contributions down the stretch.
Boston Red Sox: Alfredo Aceves
When you look at the 2012 season as a whole for the Boston Red Sox, there definitely aren't many positives, though the payroll that they opened up by trading their stars to Los Angeles should hold some hope for 2013 and beyond.
Letting Jonathan Papelbon walk may not have been one of the worst decisions they made, but seeing Alfredo Aceves in the back end of the bullpen has been painful at times.
He does have 25 saves, but with an ERA north of 5.00 and 10 losses, he's done enough harm to warrant a second thought before giving the call to the pen.
Chicago Cubs: Chris Volstad
In 19 starts for the Chicago Cubs this season, Chris Volstad is 3-10 with an ERA of 6.22, the highest mark of his five-year career.
Volstad has managed to strike out five batters per nine innings, though his lack of control has led to nearly as many walks during the same span.
Chicago White Sox: Kosuke Fukudome
The Chicago White Sox have surpassed the expectations of many and appear poised to make a trip to the postseason.
Many players have made an impact, but Kosuke Fukudome failed to live up to any expectations. His tenure in Chicago didn't last long. A .171 average in 24 games led to his dismissal.
Cincinnati Reds: Scott Rolen
The Reds have done well to hold on to their most talented players, signing Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips to contract extensions before any speculation about possible departures could take shape.
With that, the most notable free-agent-to-be on the Reds' roster is Scott Rolen, who has seen better days and will likely be looking for a new home when the calendar turns.
Cleveland Indians: Grady Sizemore
At one time, Grady Sizemore was a player who appeared to represent the future of the Cleveland Indians. From 2006 to 2008, he played in nearly every game and averaged 28 home runs per season.
Since then, he's struggled mightily to stay healthy, and after singing a one-year deal for 2012, he has yet to take the diamond and may well be done in Cleveland.
Colorado Rockies: Jeremy Guthrie
Among the moves that the Rockies made this past offseason, the acquisition of Jeremy Guthrie was thought to be the most impactful. The hope was that he would enjoy the same success he had enjoyed as a veteran starter for the Orioles.
But he failed to make much of an impact in Colorado, compiling a 6.35 ERA and winning only three games in 19 appearances before being traded to Kansas City.
Detroit Tigers: Ryan Raburn
The Tigers have work to do if they hope to play October baseball, and while being swept in a doubleheader by the basement-dwelling Minnesota Twins won't help, there's still time to make an impact.
They'll need contributions from everyone, and though it'll come down to the final days of the season, it could've been made easier if they had gotten the production they expected from Ryan Raburn.
After three consecutive seasons with more than 15 home runs and a .274 batting average, Raburn has fallen mightily, with just one homer and a batting average hovering around .170.
Houston Astros: Jordan Lyles
It's been a rough start to a major league career for Jordan Lyles, who is in his second season with the Astros.
He went 2-8 with an ERA of 5.36 last season, and while he's upped his strikeout total in 2012, he's just 4-11 with a slightly higher ERA than last year.
Kansas City Royals: Jonathan Sanchez
When the Royals moved Melky Cabrera to the San Francisco Giants for Jonathan Sanchez, they thought they were getting a relatively solid starter who could help their young roster turn things around.
Instead, they got a disastrous pitcher who won just one game in 12 starts, posting an ERA of nearly 8.00.
Los Angeles Angels: Vernon Wells
With lofty expectations accompanying them into the 2012 season after a very active winter, the Los Angeles Angels have failed to produce to the extent expected of them and could be back to the drawing board in some respects this offseason.
Vernon Wells has been the target of criticism since joining the Halos, and with just 11 home runs and a .232 batting average this season, that is certain to continue.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Juan Uribe
Many bold moves have led to the revitalization of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the team looks to be heading in a direction that will have them contending year after year.
In his second season with Los Angeles, however, Juan Uribe has failed to do the things that kept him in the league for more than a decade. His .186 batting average and meager .254 on-base percentage are career lows.
Miami Marlins: Carlos Zambrano
The Marlins had to know what they were getting into when they signed Carlos Zambrano prior to the start of the 2012 season.
After all, this is the guy who alienated himself from teammate after teammate with the Cubs while showing little or no remorse.
He had a few good moments in Miami this season, but lost his spot in the rotation after many subpar performances.
Milwaukee Brewers: Livan Hernandez
After sending Zack Greinke packing prior to this summer's trade deadline, it would have been easy to write off the Milwaukee Brewers' 2012 season and look forward to next year.
Instead, the Brewers have been playing their best ball of late and haven't shown to be any worse for the wear.
It's difficult to call Livan Hernandez useless since he hasn't been overly terrible, but with an ERA of 6.56, it's hard to think the 37-year-old has much life left in the league.
Minnesota Twins: Carl Pavano
After winning 17 games in 2010, Carl Pavano signed a two-year contract with the Twins worth nearly $18 million in hopes that he'd be a veteran presence in a young starting rotation.
The 2011 season didn't end well for Pavano, as he won just nine games, and 2012 has been worse. He had two wins in 11 starts before being injured and sidelined for the remainder of the year.
New York Mets: Andres Torres
Placed on waivers by the Mets in August, outfielder Andres Torres isn't having an outstanding 2012 season by any means, making it hard to fault any Mets fan who is less than fond of what Torres brings to the table.
The center fielder thrived in 2010 with the San Francisco Giants, batting .268 and going deep 16 times. But in 2012, he's batting only .220 with two home runs.
New York Yankees: Joba Chamberlain
Locked into a battle for AL East supremacy, the New York Yankees have little room for error as they look to make a trip to postseason play. While they appear to have a spot locked up, more contributions from players like Joba Chamberlain could have provided a little bit more breathing room for the stretch run.
Chamberlain has had a number of successes during his time in the league, but injuries hampered his 2012 efforts. He's made only 19 appearances in relief, posting a 5.19 ERA and 1-0 record.
Oakland Athletics: Kurt Suzuki
The Oakland Athletics are one of a number of teams that have exceeded expectations in 2012. And with a postseason trip riding on the final week of the season, there's plenty of excitement by the bay.
Kurt Suzuki will be making a trip to October, but it will be as a member of the Washington Nationals. The A's moved him after a lackluster start that saw him hit .218 and drive in only 18 runs in 120 at-bats.
Philadelphia Phillies: Jose Contreras
Having made only 17 appearances for the Phillies this season before making his way to the disabled list, Jose Contreras may be getting the idea that his time in the league could be winding down.
He's nearly 41 years old and has failed to make as many as 20 appearances in the past two seasons. The Phillies certainly won't be looking to him to fill any void in their bullpen in 2013.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Jose Tabata
It hasn't all been bad for Jose Tabata in 2012, but the Pirates outfielder has struggled in the 100 or so games he's played this season.
His .241 batting average is 30 points below his career average, and his 40-percent success rate stealing bases is 22 percent below his career average.
Tabata is struggling, to say the least.
San Diego Padres: Ross Ohlendorf
A lackluster 2011 from Ross Ohlendorf could have paved the way for a turnaround campaign in 2012.
But things haven't gone as planned for Ohlendorf. He's 4-4, with an astronomical 24 walks in 48.2 innings and a bloated 7.77 ERA.
San Francisco Giants: Melky Cabrera
Through the first few months of the season, Melky Cabrera was one of the best players in baseball, so it's impossible to call him useless.
With the team in the midst of a postseason push, however, the 50-game suspension he received for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug has made him just that.
Seattle Mariners: Miguel Olivo
Seattle Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo has been a disappointment in 2012, posting a meager .210 batting average in 82 games and showing little power compared to previous seasons.
Having jumped around quite a bit throughout his career, it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him in a backup role for another organization in 2013.
St. Louis Cardinals: Tyler Greene
In limited action for St. Louis the past few seasons, Tyler Greene hardly put up the numbers that would've turned the heads of anyone making decisions on the future of the franchise.
He never put up a batting average of more than .222, and with a .218 mark early this season, Greene was ultimately moved to Houston, where he's thrived (somewhat).
Tampa Bay Rays: Luke Scott
After playing in only 64 games last season for the Baltimore Orioles, Luke Scott made the move to Tampa Bay, where he was expected to have a positive impact on a lineup that needed some pop.
But once again, Scott's health would get in the way. He still hasn't reached the 100-game mark and is batting only .227 when healthy enough to get on the field.
Texas Rangers: Roy Oswalt
When the Rangers brought Roy Oswalt into the fold this summer, it was expected that the move would further solidify the starting rotation and improve the team's chances at making another trip to the World Series.
Oswalt, however, has struggled to get on track since his acquisition, posting a 4-3 record with a 6.29 ERA. At one point, he was even moved from the rotation to the bullpen.
Toronto Blue Jays: Ricky Romero
Young players who clearly have talent are often the most exciting to watch on the mound. Usually, it's just a matter of time before they succeed.
Ricky Romero is just such a pitcher, but has had a horrendous 2012 season, posting an 8-14 record with an ERA of 5.72 in 30 starts.
Washington Nationals: Chien-Ming Wang
Chien-Ming Wang had his best season with the New York Yankees in 2006, finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting after winning 19 games in only his second season in the majors.
Since then, he's only made 30 starts in a season once and has spent hundreds of days on the disabled list with injuries to his hamstring, hip, foot and shoulder.
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