Few players in franchise history have put together a greater showing of futility than Aaron Rowand in 2011 — and during his tenure as a whole, for that matter. In 2010, Rowand had hit .230/.281/.378, effectively losing his starting job — and setting an extremely low bar of performance standards. Yet somehow Rowand managed to put up even worse numbers this season: .233/.274/.347, a .270 weighted on-base average, and a BB/K ratio (0.12) of historically bad proportions.
Despite his constant struggles at the plate, Rowand had the sixth-most plate appearances on the team (351). And despite his utter inability to reach base (the man drew nine(!) unintentional walks this season), he led off for the Giants 46 times. I kid you not: fourty-six times.
As sort of an exercise for this player review, I decided to search through the archives for old mentions of Rowand. What I came upon were two one-sentence excerpts (within a one-week span) that almost entirely illustrate Rowand’s season as a whole:
Aug 23: The Giants drew three consecutive walks to load the bases in the fourth inning, and Aaron Rowand promptly took two strikes then grounded out.
Aug 19: Aaron Rowand, who hasn’t drawn a walk in six weeks, was hitless in the leadoff spot, striking out twice.
When he was finally designated for assignment, it came out that Rowand had been complaining endlessly:
But according to sources, Rowand’s complaining reached a critical level this season. “He’s doing everything possible to get out of here,” one player said earlier this week.
I’m both thrilled and relieved to never have to see Rowand don a San Francisco Giants uniform ever again. His tenure as a Giant was increasingly disastrous, and he’s without doubt one of the worst free agent signings in franchise history.
He’ll be making $12MM next year to not play for the Giants.