Aug 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20), second baseman Scooter Gennett (2) and starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo (49) celebrate by making O
Milwaukee Brewers first baseman and pinch hitter Lyle Overbay told MLB Network Radio that he is “99.9 percent sure” that he will be retiring this off-season.
Overbay was half of Milwaukee’s first base platoon for much of the season, but lost that job for the most part as the season wore on, with Jonathan Lucroy and Matt Clark getting starts at first base on days Mark Reynolds was off.
In the first of our Milwaukee Brewers player reviews for this off-season, we’ll be looking at Overbay.
Jul 28, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Lyle Overbay (24) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Position: First Base, Pinch Hitter
2014 Contract: 1 year, $1.5m
2015 Contract: Free Agent (likely retiree)
Grade: OOOOOOOOO – D
With just 296 plate appearances this year, it was only the second time since Overbay’s first long stint in the Majors in 2003 that he failed to get 300 (or even 400) plate appearances.
His 86 wRC+ was nearly a career low, but he bested his 84 with the Blue Jays from 2007. His 85 OPS+ was also one of the worst marks in his career.
The picture is even starker when you look into Overbay’s splits. 255 of his plate appearances this season came as a first baseman and he hit just .220/.314/.314. In his 40 plate appearances as a pinch hitter he hit .324/.425/.471, which is a lot more respectable.
Unfortunately the Brewers can’t afford to keep a guy on the bench to only be a pinch hitter. There were 26 players in the National League that got 200 plate appearances at first base this season and only the Reds’ Brayan Pena was worse than Overbay with his bat.
However, of those 26 players, Overbay ranked 17th by FanGraphs defensive metrics, right in the middle of the pack. Because of that, I won’t give Overbay an F for this season, but he’ll have to take a D.
Here’s the thing. I really like Lyle Overbay. I’ve always liked Lyle Overbay. I remember his 2004, knocking 53 doubles and being one of only three bright spots on the entire roster.
If this really was Overbay’s last season in the bigs, I’m glad he got to spend it in Milwaukee but I don’t want to see him back on the roster next year. Overbay had been a productive hitter for most of his career but age is catching up with him and the last three seasons he’s slid down past what is acceptable for a first baseman.
Goodnight Lyle Overbay and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!