During my 37 years as a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, I have seen many players have excellent offensive and pitching seasons. I’ve also seen more than my share of less than desirable performances. But which players had the worst statistical seasons by position? Some of the players on this list had very good and in one instance, a Hall of Fame type career, but for one season, had a terrible statistical season. The only criteria I used is that the player had to be a starter and had to have played in at least half the games or pitched more than 100 innings. Enjoy the list!
Kyle Abbott 1992
Kyle Abbott pitched parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues with the Phillies and Angles. Abbott pitched in only 57 career games and compiled a record of 4-17 with a 5.20 ERA. With the Phillies in 1992 Abbott started 19 games, pitched 133 1/3 innings, gave up 76 earned runs, 147 hits and 45 walks, en route to a 1-14 record and a 5.13 ERA.
Adam Eaton 2007
Adam Eaton pitched for five teams over a ten-year Major League career in which he compiled a record of 71-68 with a 4.94 ERA. Although Eaton was part of the Phillies staff that won the National League East in 2007, his performance was far less than stellar. His record of 10-10 was respectable, but that’s where it ends. In 161 2/3 innings, he allowed 192 hits, 113 runs, 30 home runs and 71 walks. His ERA was an abysmal 6.29. The following season could make this list as well, when he had a record of 4-8 with an ERA of 5.80.
Carlton Loewer 1998
Carlton Loewer was the Phillies’ first round draft pick in 1994, but never lived up to expectations. In fact, his Major League career was atrocious. As bad as his 1998 was, it was the best season Loewer had in his career. He started 21 games, allowed 83 runs and 154 hits in 122 2/3 innings pitched. His record of 7-8 was mediocre, but had an ERA of 6.09 and allowed 18 home runs. Loewer finished his career with a record of 10-18 with a 6.18 ERA in 48 games over parts of four seasons.
Chad Ogea 1999
Chad Ogea pitched for the Cleveland Indians from 1993 through 1998 and for the Phillies in 1999. He had a few decent seasons with the Indians, but was terrible in his final Major League season in 1999. He compiled a record of 6-12 with a 5.63 ERA. In 168 innings, he allowed 105 earned runs, 192 hits, 61 walks and a whopping 36 home runs. Ogea retired with a record of 37-35 with a 4.88 ERA.
Mark Leiter 1997
Mark Leiter pitched for eight teams over an 11-year career. In his first season with the Phillies in 1997, he won a career high 10 games, but he lead the league in losses with 17 and had an ERA of 5.67. In 182 2/3 innings, he allowed 212 hits and a league high 115 earned runs. Leieter had a career record of 65-73 with a 4.57 ERA.
Catcher – Carlos Ruiz 2008
Although Carlos Ruiz has been a mainstay at catcher for the Phillies since 2007 and was a key component to the 2008 World Series winning team, he was not known for his offensive. An excellent defensive catcher who handled the pitching staff well, Ruiz batted just .219 in 320 at bats. He had only 18 extra base hits four home runs, a .320 on-base-percentage and a woeful .300 slugging percentage. He’ll be more remembered for the many good seasons behind the plate and the World Series, but he does make this list for his poor offensive season of 2008.
First Base – Pete Rose 1983
The Major League all-time hits leader with 4,256 and a key component to the Phillies first World Series Championship in 1980, Pete Rose had a very poor season at the age of 42 in 1983. Although the Phillies went to the World Series, Rose batted only .245 with only 17 extra base hits in 493 at bats. Rose struck out only 28 times, but his on-base percentage of .316 and slugging percentage of .286 were very low compared to his lifetime numbers of .375 and .409, respectively. Phillies’ fans will most likely remember Rose for getting a good team over the hump to win the 1980 World Series.
Second Base – Ted Sizemore 1978
Ted Sizemore played from 1969 through 1980 and was known more for his defensive play than his proficiency with the bat. The Phillies’ starting second baseman on the 1977 and 1978 National League Eastern Division champion teams had his worst hitting season of his career in 1978. He batted just .219 with 12 doubles, no triples and no home runs in 351 at bats. Add in only 25 walks and his on-base-percentage was only .270 with a slugging percentage of .254. Sizemore ended his career with a .262 average with 23 home runs and 430 RBI.
Shortstop – Steve Jeltz 1988
Steve Jeltz played in the Major Leagues from 1983 through 1990. He is one of the worst hitting shortstops of all time, with a career average of .210, on-base-percentage of .308 and slugging percentage of .268 in 1,749 at bats. As bad as his career numbers were, 1988 was even worse. Jeltz batted a dismal .189 with only 15 extra base hits in 379 at bats. He had an on-base percentage of .295 and slugging percentage of only .237.
Third Base – David Bell 2003
David Bell was an above average defensive third base man and an adequate hitter for six teams over a 12-year Major League career. But in 2003, Bell had his worst hitting season and worst hitting season by a Phillies’ third base man over the past 36 seasons. Bell batted just .195 with 14 doubles, four home runs and 37 RBI in 297 at bats. His slugging percentage of .283 was only 26 points above his career batting average of .257. Bell ended his career with 123 home runs and 589 RBI.
Left Field – Jeff Stone/John Russell 1985
I combined Jeff Stone and John Russell since they each played about half the games and their combined season totals is bad enough to make this list. Stone played in parts of eight Major League seasons. In 1985, Stone batted .265 with only 10 extra base hits in 264 at bats, for a slugging percentage of .337. Russell batted just .218 with nine home runs and 23 RBI in 216 at bats. He also struck out 72 times and walked only 18 times for a .278 on-base percentage. Stone and Russell combine to hit .244 with 12 home runs, 38 RBI, 122 strikeouts and only 33 walks in 480 at bats.
Center Field – Marlon Byrd 2004
Phillies right fielder Marlon Byrd is in his second tour of duty with the team. A career .280 hitter with 107 home runs and 534 RBI, Byrd had a terrible season in 2004. In 346 at bats, Byrd batted .228 with five home runs and 33 RBI. With only 22 walks, his on-base percentage was only .287 and his 20 extra base hits gave him a slugging percentage of just .321. Byrd played part of 2005 with the Phillies before playing for six other teams from 2006 through 2013.
Right Field – Ruben Amaro Jr. 1992
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. played in the Major Leagues for the Angels, Indians and Phillies from 1991 through 1998. Primarily a backup outfielder and pinch hitter during his career, he was the Phillies starting right fielder for much of 1992. But he batted only .219 with seven home runs and 34 RBI in 374 at bats. His on-base percentage was .303 and had a slugging percentage of just .348. Amaro was a career .235 hitter with 16 home runs and 100 RBI.