It’s difficult, as a human person, not to arrive at the conclusion that the world is riddled with injustice. Epictetus felt it keenly. Marcus Aurelius felt it keenly. Owing to the infancy of medical science at the time, probably a lot of other ancients felt it keenly, as well.
Among those feeling it keenly in the year 2018, however, seems to be Cincinnati reliever David Hernandez. On Thursday, the winners of the Silver Slugger Award were announced. Hernandez, it seems, was unimpressed by the results.
All you people…whoever you are that vote on awards don’t really know shit. The fact that Michael Lorenzen’s the clear cut winner, didn’t win silver slugger for a pitcher is an absolute joke.
— David Hernandez (@DHern_30) November 9, 2018
It should be noted immediately that Michael Lorenzen and Hernandez were teammates in 2018, so there’s certainly a case to be made that bias is at play here. It should also be noted that, in this case, the “people” who “vote on awards” are major-league managers and coaches. These are important points to establish.
What’s also probably important to establish is that Hernandez, whatever the weaknesses of his rhetorical style, doesn’t lack for evidence.
|3||A.J. Cole||– – –||4||0.0%||25.0%||.333||.333||1.333||336||1.2|
|7||Rick Porcello||Red Sox||7||0.0%||42.9%||.429||.429||.714||207||0.9|
|8||Enny Romero||– – –||1||0.0%||0.0%||1.000||1.000||2.000||721||0.8|
This is the batting-runs leaderboard for pitchers from 2018. Batting runs account for everything that occurs at the plate. Walk? That’s a way to first base. Grounder to third? That’s also included, in its way. Most of the leaders here have a figure that’s just above zero because most pitchers regress to something even worse than that that.
Not Lorenzen, though. Over 34 plate appearances this year, he hit four homers and slashed .290/.333/.710. Overall, he recorded the top batting line of the year among pitchers with as few as 10 plate appearances:
The actual winner of the Silver Slugger, blameless German Marquez, did reach the .300 threshold, but he also recorded just a single extra-bast hit — a homer off a position player pitching — this season. Lorenzen, on the other hand, hit a double and four homers in roughly half the plate appearances.
Homers like this one, after a weird bunt thing:
There are certainly moments when one is wrong to feel aggrieved. For right-hander David Hernandez, however, this isn’t one of them. His teammate Michael Lorenzen both (a) probably deserved but also (b) didn’t win the Silver Slugger Award for pitchers. An injustice has probably occurred. A minor, minor, minor injustice.
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.