Not inspired (if that’s the word) by Adam Dunn’s recent attempt at relief pitching, Fangraph’s Patrick Dubuque recently took to the modern-era’s take on Strat-o-Matic, Out Of The Park 2015, and created four, 25 man squads, each composed of one player cloned 25 times. Showing the sort of ingenuity that would cause Dr. Moreau to hurl, Dubuque created full rosters of Adam Dunns, Bartolo Colons, Dee Gordons and Koji Ueharas. May God Have Mercy On Us All.
I chose Adam Dunn because, when I started this project a couple of weeks ago, I never imagined that Dunn would be a gigantic jerk and pitch for the first time after fourteen years. I chose Dee Gordon because I’m an idiot and didn’t think of Jose Altuve until it was too late. I chose Bartolo Colon because I’m not completely an idiot. And I chose Koji Uehara because I like Koji Uehara. Each of the four teams has a strength: power, speed, stamina, and stuff, respectively, and I wanted to see which would win out. In a perfect world, they might form a delicate balance. It was not a perfect world.
In terms of methodology, I kept all four players at their original, OOTP-assigned ratings, only guessing what I thought the hitters’ fastballs would clock in at. I locked the rosters at 25 because it would take too long to populate a minor league system, and I didn’t want the computer to sneak some unauthorized eighteen year-old Cuban onto the club to use as fresh legs. I assigned each homunculi a position, set five starters and a closer, and designated the rest as middle relievers. Then I lit the fuse and backed away.
The Colons had it rough. They didn’t win a series until the end of April, and before long they began peppering my inbox with retirement announcements at the end of the year. By October every position player had called it quits except the first baseman, theoretically due to the strain of exercise, although the Colons weren’t actually any worse at fielding than the Dunns or the Ueharas. Instead, it was their pitching that failed them: the Colons starters, facing nine pitchers, nine shortstops and nine Adam Dunns, only managed an ERA of 7.80, barely better than the Dunns themselves.