Daily Dodger in review: The legend of Eugenio Velez
We now return to our look back at the Dodgers’ individual seasons, after a brief interruption by this little ownership news …
EUGENIO VELEZ, 29, infielder
Final 2011 stats: Ha, ha, ha -- .000 batting average (it’s true), .075 on-base percentage (two walks!), .000 slugging percentage, one RBI, zero pretty much anything else.
The good: Comic relief. Really, I should feel guilty for continuing to poke fun at the hapless season of Velez. My wife tells me I should feel a lot of things I don’t.
The good? Well, he did score five runs. He’s reasonably fast and saw some pinch-run opportunities. Can also play the outfield. Seemed to maintain a reasonable attitude considering the crevice his season fell into.
The bad: It’s not his fault the Dodgers were so ravaged by injuries that they had to call him up. Alas, they did. And then there was his memorable year.
He went 0-for-37 on the season, setting a major league record for most at-bats by a position player without a hit. Really, you had to see it.
Not to stop there, he went without a hit in his final nine at-bats with the Giants in 2010, leaving him with a 0-for-46 streak, another record for most overall at-bats without a hit by a position player. He has one hit in his last 66 at-bats.
What’s next: The Dodgers had barely called it a season before they removed Velez from their 40-man roster. Back to the minors he goes, where he may never be heard from again. At least, you hope, by the Dodgers.
The take: You have to admit, he did bring a certain air of suspense with each at-bat as his hitless streak somehow wore on. You just knew he had to get a lucky bounce at some point. It was sort of the reverse of Andre Ethier’s 30-game hitting streak. You watched with more interest every time, waiting to see if this incredible streak would continue.
This is for a guy who in parts of four seasons with the Giants hit .256. It’s true. He has 160 career hits. You can look it up and everything.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Eugenio Velez during batting practice before a game against the Diamondbacks. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire