Miami Unsound RBI Machine

The 2013 Marlins trot out one of the worst offenses seen in many years.  They’ve scored 455 runs in their first 139 games, 69 runs fewer than the next lowest squad (White Sox at 524).  At their current 3.27 runs per game, they’ll tally 530 runs this year.  There’s been only one team to score fewer than 530 runs in a non-strike season since 1969, that being the 2010 Seattle Mariners.

The team leader in RBI for those Angels was LF Rick Reichardt, who knocked in 68.  Jay Johnstone had 59 and no other Angel had more than 49.  Well the Marlins may trump that “team RBI leader” factoid.

Here are the top 10 Marlins in terms of RBI this season.  Whether by injury, roster turnover, incompetence or lack of RBI opportunities, its a scary sight:

 NAME PA RBI ▾
Giancarlo Stanton 416 46
Justin Ruggiano 388 43
Adeiny Hechavarria 493 34
Logan Morrison 268 32
Marcell Ozuna 291 32
Jeff Mathis 227 28
Donovan Solano 303 27
Placido Polanco 369 23
Derek Dietrich 233 23
Ed Lucas 308 21
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/7/2013.

To put this in perspective, Miguel Cabrera has had four different MONTHS this season with at least 21 RBI.  Cabrera HAS benefitted from having the ninth-most runners on base during his plate appearances this season (see below), but still . . .

NAME TEAM ROB
Prince Fielder DET 474
Brandon Phillips CIN 447
Dustin Pedroia BOS 444
Victor Martinez DET 425
Jay Bruce CIN 419
Mike Napoli BOS 417
Hunter Pence SFN 412
Adam Jones BAL 404
Miguel Cabrera DET 399
Adrian Beltre TEX 395

If you are wondering where the Marlins are on this list, the first name you would come across if you listed everyone’s total would be Adeiny Hechavarria with 278, good for 109th place in the Majors.  Then you’d have to wait for Justin Ruggiano‘s 179th place mark of 229 for the next appearance by a Marlin.

Beyond the utter lack of RBI opportunities, the Marlins just aren’t cashing those few(er) situations in.  Here are the top 10 players in RBI percentage, with a minimum of the 227 plate appearances Jeff Mathis has had for the Marlins.  Allen Craig leads the Majors driving in 84 of the 362 runners he’s had on base, good for 23.2% (OBI: others batted in)

NAME TEAM PA ROB OBI OBI%
Allen Craig SLN 563 362 84 23.2
Matt Carpenter SLN 618 261 58 22.2
Miguel Cabrera DET 575 399 88 22.1
Freddie Freeman ATL 542 346 76 22
Angel Pagan SFN 231 97 21 21.6
Chris Davis BAL 583 348 75 21.6
Salvador Perez KCA 449 269 54 20.1
Adrian Gonzalez LAN 565 356 70 19.7
Paul Goldschmidt ARI 613 386 75 19.4
Hanley Ramirez LAN 285 173 33 19.1

The best Marlin in terms of OBI percentage?  Well here are the placements of each Marlin with at least 227 PAs this season.  Marcell Ozuna‘s 17% is good for 39th place overall, then the next best is Donovan Solano at 15.1%, good for 105th place.

Place NAME PA ROB OBI OBI%
39 Marcell Ozuna 291 188 32 17
105 Donovan Solano 303 166 25 15.1
108 Logan Morrison 268 173 26 15
111 Jeff Mathis 227 154 23 14.9
204 Giancarlo Stanton 416 220 27 12.3
206 Placido Polanco 369 180 22 12.2
217 Justin Ruggiano 388 226 27 11.9
240 Greg Dobbs 256 170 19 11.2
243 Adeiny Hechavarria 493 278 31 11.2
255 Ed Lucas 308 168 18 10.7
259 Derek Dietrich 233 134 14 10.4
298 Juan Pierre 308 104 7 6.7

Going into Saturday night’s action, Giancarlo Stanton leads the Marlins with 46 ribbies.  With 23 games left, he SHOULD get four more for 50.  But just in case, here are the teams with NO > 50 RBI players on their roster in a non-strike season.  Note that it hasn’t happened since the advent of the 162-game schedule:

Year Tm Lg # with > 50 RBI
1954 Baltimore Orioles AL 0
1919 Boston Braves NL 0
1916 Washington Senators AL 0
1914 Cincinnati Reds NL 0
1910 St. Louis Browns AL 0
1910 Chicago White Sox AL 0
1909 Washington Senators AL 0
1908 Washington Senators AL 0
1908 New York Highlanders AL 0
1907 St. Louis Cardinals NL 0
1906 St. Louis Cardinals NL 0
1905 Brooklyn Superbas NL 0
1903 Washington Senators AL 0
1902 New York Giants NL 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/7/2013.

In the 162-game era, the last team to have only one 50 RBI player in a non-strike season  was the 2011 Padres, when Ryan Ludwick‘s 64 was 20 more than any of his teammates.

Will any Marlin get to 55 RBI?  If no one can, Miami will join a very short list of expansion era teams with none (again, exempting strike seasons).  The ’68 White Sox had the lowest total for a team RBI leader, with two players driving in exactly 50:

Year Tm Lg # with 55 RBI
1976 California Angels AL 0
1968 Chicago White Sox AL 0
1968 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/7/2013.
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