2013 in brief: Completely fell apart in the second half and was left out of the playoffs.
2014 status: Free agent, and at 38 and coming off such a terrible season, it might be the end of the road.
It’s probably important to remember that Jerry Hairston was a pretty useful bench piece in 2012 (.320 wOBA, 1.5 WAR), because 2013… well, just couldn’t have really gone worse. After a crash course in learning how to play first base in the spring, just because the team had never identified a backup for Adrian Gonzalez, Hairston started games at left, right, first, and third in the first month, yet was hitting only .255/.304/.353 when he injured his groin in early May.
He returned in late May, displacing Dee Gordon, and that just might have been the most value he provided all year. I mean, Hairston’s been a valuable utility guy for a long time, so I don’t really want to speak poorly of him, but it was pretty clear he was cooked. After some signs of life in June (.279/.333/.326), July was bad (.188/.297/.375), August was worse (.195/.244/.195), and September was just dire (.069/.069/.069). In the entire second half he hit .143/.189/.179; against lefties all year, he hit .179/.253/.192.
By the end of the season, we were openly praying that he wouldn’t make the playoff roster, and he didn’t, with Gordon & Scott Van Slyke each making it ahead of him. If you’re wondering how it is we got to the end of the season so quickly here, well, I haven’t even used his category tag since 2012‘s review. There’s just not a lot to say about a player who was generally awful, yet didn’t make for any individual memories.
Again, that’s not to disparage Hairston or the signing, because the idea of a multi-positional type has been a very valid one considering the multitude of injuries this club has had. It just only worked out for year one, and year two was so lousy that it just might have ended Hairston’s long, valuable career.
So is he coming back next year? Hang on, let’s ask Jerry himself:
Signs point to “no”.
Next! Hey, Carl Crawford was better than expected, right?