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Indians right fielders were among the worst in the American League in 2014

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We looked at possibly the best position, catcher, last time out. This time, we gander at the worst position, right field.

One of the numerous fly balls not gotten to by the Tribe right fielders
One of the numerous fly balls not gotten to by the Tribe right fielders
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Previous entries:

Catchers

While the catching tandem was pretty awesome last year, not to mention one of the best short stints ever, the right field conglomerate was perhaps the worst position in all of baseball. David Murphy started 109 games out there, but Terry Francona ended up starting eight others in right as well. They guy who was supposed to platoon with Murphy, Ryan Raburn finished in second (19), but didn't beat out Tyler Holt by all that much (14). In fact Holt made more overall appearances than Raburn for the season.

Francona tried Chris Dickerson for 8, Nick Swisher for 4, Elliot Johnson for 3, J.B. Shuck and Mike Aviles for 2, and Zach Walters for 1 lone start. And the reason he kept throwing new players out there was that they all basically sucked.

Here is how they individually performed as right fielders (Don't look at this table for too long, they may get seared):

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

wRC+

Murphy

435

257

316

384

700

100

Raburn

66

224

303

345

648

88

Holt

52

200

231

200

431

22

Dickerson

26

208

269

250

519

51

Swisher

16

200

250

200

450

31

Johnson

10

111

111

222

333

-16

Shuck

6

000

000

000

000

-100

Walters

5

200

200

200

400

9

Aviles

5

000

000

000

000

-100

I told you it was ugly. Murphy had a few nice stretches, but nobody else had any success, not even for tiny stretches. It is likely fruitless, but let's compare to the rest of the AL Central:

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

wRC+

Tigers

274

330

436

765

112

Twins

240

306

425

731

105

White Sox

252

300

428

728

100

Royals

284

339

373

713

103

Indians

237

294

342

636

82

The 636 OPS by the Indians was easily the worst in the AL, but the entire AL pretty much stunk it up in right. The 761 OPS by the Tigers was fourth best with the Blue Jays the only team to crack 800 (879, yeah, they were kinda awesome). The Tribe wasn't last in wRC+ however, with the Yankees finishing last at 77.

The Indians were twelfth in doubles (27), tenth in homers (10), eleventh in RBI (61, with the Yankees at 43!) and dead last in runs scored (48). They also finished last in BAbip at 271, with the league average at 306. But I don't think they had a ton of bad luck, they were just a bad collection of hitters.

Surely we can glean some good information from Fangraphs ...

Batting

Baserunning

Fielding

Offense

Defense

WAR

Murphy

0.0

-2.9

-10.4

-2.9

-15.5

-0.5

Raburn

-0.8

-0.4

-0.9

-1.3

-1.7

-0.1

Holt

-4.4

-0.1

2.3

-4.5

1.5

-0.1

Dickerson

-1.4

0.2

0.1

-1.2

-0.3

-0.1

Swisher

-1.2

0.0

-2.1

-1.2

-2.3

-0.3

Johnson

-1.3

0.0

-1.0

-1.3

-1.1

-0.2

Shuck

-1.4

0.0

0.8

-1.4

0.7

-0.1

Walters

-0.5

0.0

-1.0

-0.5

-1.0

-0.2

Aviles

-1.2

0.0

-1.6

-1.2

-1.7

-0.3

If anything, that is even more depressing than the first table. Woof. Not a single player with a positive WAR. The only positive sign is how good Holt looks on defense to the rest of the skillets out there. But if his hitting continues to be that bad, he will never be anything but a reserve outfielder. And with Murphy yet another year older, I find it hard to believe he will bounce back much, if at all. Thankfully Moss might take a lot of his playing time.

And here is how the Tribe stacked up with their AL Central foes:

Batting

Baserunning

Fielding

Offense

Defense

WAR

Royals

2.3

2.2

10.0

4.5

2.4

3.3

Twins

4.0

-0.6

-13.3

3.4

-20.7

0.5

Tigers

9.2

-1.5

-18.9

7.7

-26.2

0.4

White Sox

0.1

-0.7

-16.1

-0.6

-23.8

-0.3

Indians

-12.3

-3.2

-13.8

-15.6

-21.3

-1.8

Doing a complete flip from the catchers, the AL Central had four of the worst six WAR in the AL. Again, the Blue Jay dominated the offensive numbers here with a Batting component of 36.9 and the next nearest being the Angels at 17.5. The Royals were the only positive fielding team in the AL Central. The Rays rated out as the best defensive team in the AL.

Right field used to be a power position and a big part of most rosters. But it really ahs seem to faded as only the Blue Jays and Angels had a 5.0 WAR or better. Over half the league generated a WAR below 2.0.

The positive news is that Brandon Moss, playing hurt last year out played everyone of of last year's right fielders, netting 0.7 WAR. If, and that is a huge if, he is healthy, he could net a 2.0-3,0 WAR at a position the Tribe really struggled with last year.

The future in right is likely someone from Bobby Bradley, Mike Papi or even Clint Frazier. But I suspect the solution in 2016 will either be Walters, James Ramsey or even perhaps Tyler Naquin until one of those three is ready to take over.