Another nationally televised broadcast, another reason to be thankful for our local TV broadcast crew. Of all the things today's crew said, the most ridiculous was made by the color guy, Eric Karros:
In talking with several Twins officials, they all said Cuddyer is the Twins MVP this year.
I don't doubt that several Twins officials said this, but it is so ridiculous, I can't help writing about it.
Let's look at Cuddyer's numbers offensively:
.275/.340/.426/.766 WAR: 6.2
That's not bad, but the claim is he's the Twins MVP. So we should look at some other Twins to see who might have a higher WAR.
Let's start with Mauer:
.372/.402/.472 WAR 23.1
So it's pretty clear that Mauer is the better offensive player. But that's only half the story. The half that makes the claim that Cuddyer is the MVP ridiculous is not his marginal offensive value,
The context of the claim was how Cuddyer has ably replaced Justin Morneau at first base. Ably? By my count, he's 2-22 in digging out low throws at first. We wondered why J.J. Hardy hardly ever made an error when Justin was the first baseman. We see it almost every game with Cuddyer. Hardy throws the ball on a hop to Cuddyer, he jabs at it and it bounces off his glove. E6. Hardy has committed six of his eight errors with Cuddyer at first, despite the fact that Cuddyer has been at first for 58 games and Morneau was at 1B for 77 games. But let us not deal with anecdotal evidence. Let us look at the real evidence:
Defensive WAR: -12.9
That's right. His defensive value makes him nearly a net negative. And this is the guy who's supposed to be the Twins MVP?
I like Cuddy. He's an important part of this team. But he has no business being called the Twins MVP. I only used Mauer as an example. But here's an incomplete list of more deserving candidates:
- Liriano: WAR of 6.0
- Morneau:Even if he doesn't play another game, he will provide more value than Cuddyer. WAR: 5.2
- Mauer: He's the obvious MVP WAR:4.7 This is an injustice because they can't give him much value for being a catcher considering that their calculations so heavily skew towards range, which is nonexistent for a catcher. But I would give him MVP right now based on his 4.7 offensive WAR for a catcher.
- Orlando Hudson: 3.5
- Carl Pavano: 3.3
- Denard Span: 2.5
- Danny Valencia: Huge WAR for so short a stint: 2.4
- Jim Thome; 2.3 (before 9/04)
- Scott Baker 2.3
- J.J. Hardy 1.7
- Kevin Slowey 1.6
- Delmon Young: 1.4
- Brian Duensing: 1.4
Jesse Crain: 0.9
Jon Rauch 0.9
- Michael Cuddyer 0.6
Jason Kubel: 0.5
The upshot? Cuddyer is so far from being the Twins' MVP it's just silly to call him that. He's a valuable player on this team because he's a consistent right handed bat to balance out all the left handers. But he's 16 out of 25 or so regulars. He's the very definition of mediocre. MVP? Bah.