On Monday, we took a look at the best season by a Nats player at each position. One of the not so surprising results was how many members of the 2005 that went 81-81 made the list. It’s the best team they’ve had over their short history in Washington, after all. The worst players, on the other hand, can come from any of the subsequent years.
For this, I’m looking at players who spent significant time as the starter, and their performance was bad enough to drag a team down. Unfortunately that means Robert Fick’s horrendous 221 PAs in 2007 don’t count, despite having one of the lowest WARs in team history – he was never considered the starter, as Da Meat Hook started 116 games as the 1B. Negative WAR is a good place to start, but it’s not the only factor I used.
C – Paul Lo Duca, 2008 - When the Nats signed him in the offseason, he was coming off a terrible 2007 with the Mets, but had hit an impressive .315/.355/.428 the year before. There was a thought that he might do that again, because the Nats paid him $5M for 1 year. Three days after he signed, he was implicated in the Mitchell Report. Not just as a user, either. Hilariously, a note from him to steroid dealer Kirk Radomski, regarding a bounced check, written and signed by Lo Duca was in the report (hey steroid dealer, “my phone is TOAST!”). He didn’t redeem himself on the field, either, hitting a terrible .230/.301/.281 in 153 PAs and 43 games with the Nats before he was released in July.