Brandon Wood, meet Tony Pena Jr.

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With his 0-for-3 on Sunday, Brandon Wood went over 200 plate appearances for the season and his average dwindled to .160. If he doesn’t get another at-bat all year, he’d finish with a .397 OPS that’d rank as the lowest for any player in the expansion era.
Here’s the bottom 10 with a minimum of 200 plate appearances:
1. Brandon Wood (Angels, 2010) – .160/.185/.213 – .397 in 188 AB
2. Tony Pena Jr. (Royals, 2008) – .169/.189/.209 – .398 in 225 AB
3. Ray Oyler (Tigers, 1968) – .135/.213/.186 – .399 in 215 AB
4. John Vukovich (Phillies, 1971) – .166/.211/.189 – .400 in 217 AB
5. Al Weis (White Sox, 1966) – .155/.233/.187 – .420 in 187 AB
6. Doug Strange (Pirates, 1998) – .173/.217/.216 – .433 in 185 AB
7. Mike Ryan (Phillies, 1968) – .179/.218/.216 – .434 in 296 AB
8. Jerry Zimmerman (Twins, 1967) – .167/.243/.192 – .436 in 234 AB
9. Jim Mason (Yankees, 1975) – .152/.228/.211 – .438 in 223 AB
10. Rich Morales (SD/CHW, 1973) – .161/.245/.194 – .438 in 248 AB
Pena, incredibly, got even worse in 2009, hitting .098/.132/.118 in 51 at-bats before the Royals gave up on him, and he’s now trying to work his way back to the majors as a pitcher in the Giants chain.
Wood appears doomed. He’s now played in 153 major league games and hit .177/.205/.267 with 10 homers and a ridiculous 130/11 K/BB ratio in 412 at-bats. Though the Angels are out of the race, they’ve given him just two starts all month. (Oddly enough, they’ve won all three games he’s started since Aug. 25.) Wood has a pretty good reputation in the field, but in 484 innings (the equivalent of 55 games) at third base and shortstop this year, he’s committed eight errors and been involved in just seven double plays.
Some rebuilding club will probably take a chance on him this winter. He’s entering his age-26 season, and he’s hit .283/.350/.536 with 77 homers in 330 Triple-A games. But he’ll be far from a lock to make a team out of spring training, even though the fact that he’s out of options has kept him in the majors throughout 2010.

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.