Despite some significant strikeout issues and a career .228 average, Jake Marisnick was a valuable role player for the Astros the previous few years and was seemingly in line to take on a bigger role this year with left field up for grabs in the spring. He even homered in the team’s first and third games of the season. That really is all he’s contributed to date, though, and the Astros finally sent him down Tuesday night after he posted a 41/1 K/BB ratio and a .141/.151/.282 line in 85 at-bats.
The 41/1 K/BB ratio is along the lines of what one might expect to see from a particularly inept pitcher. Of players with at least 80 plate appearances this year, only the Rangers’ Drew Robinson has a higher strikeout rate than Marisnick’s 47.1%. No one has a lower walk rate than Marisnick’s 1.1%. It’s a pretty incredible combination.
Of the other 40/1 K/BB ratios in baseball history, only one was achieved by a non-pitcher. The Dodgers’ Andy Kosco struck out 40 times and walked once in 228 plate appearances in 1970. A journeyman outfielder, he was an average hitter for much of his career, but he had a miserable season at age 28 and wasn’t invited back by the Dodgers afterwards.
Marisnick, though, will surely get a chance to improve on his current mark if he can put together a few good weeks in Triple-A. The Astros love his defense, and he’s been a strong outfield option against lefties in the past. In the meantime, they’ll probably want to take a look at J.D. Davis, who could be an upgrade over Evan Gattis in the DH spot after hitting .407/.460/.610 in 123 at-bats in Triple-A.