STAT LINE: .215 / .253 / .366 (100 PA), 3 HR, 9 RBI, 69 OPS+
When the Giants signed d’Arnaud on December 27, 2017, they just needed warm bodies, preferably those with major league experience. d’Arnaud was, essentially, a move to add positional depth to a thin system, even though he turned 31 just three weeks after signing. That’s just how the Giants preferred to do business in the old days, believing that an experienced veteran made more sense for a veteran team.
Prior to joining the Giants, d’Arnaud (yes, the brother of Travis d’Arnaud) played in parts of five seasons for five different teams (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston, and San Diego) and slashed .223 / .278 / .306 (.584 OPS) in 499 plate appearances.
There is nothing remarkable about his baseball utility other than his utility — he played all the infield positions in 2018 save catcher. Did he play them all well? Irrelevant! He did what the Giants needed him to do and his lack of offense, though an historic certainty, can’t really look all that bad when compared to the rest of the team, which was the 2nd-worst offense in baseball in 2018.
Role on the 2018 Team
Bobby Evans though a versatile veteran with a positive personality was exactly what the dour-seeming and mostly boring Giants clubhouse needed, and he was probably right. If you remember, the comedic highlights of the entire season were when Brandon Crawford picked the meme t-shirts for the players to wear on the final road trip of the season, Alen Hanson dumping PowerAde on himself because Madison Bumgarner threatened his life if he tried to dump it on him; and, Andrew McCutchen cracked wise when it came to the Hundley-Puig imbroglio.
What about the regular wisecracks and looseness? That’s where a guy like Chase d’Arnaud comes in. Every team needs a jokester. I have compiled all the highlights from his season:
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“HUNTER PENCE” music video - TAG someone that reminds you of Hunter Pence. I decided that it would be fun to combine my love for baseball, writing music, and video to create a series of funny short music videos about my new @sfgiants teammates. First up is Mr. Charisma, Hunter Pence. Next will be Pablo “Panda” Sandoval @hunterpence @mlbcut4 @letsgetlexi @mlb #sfgiants #baseball #music
Role on the 2019 Team
The Giants released him on October 22nd in order to clear space on their 40 man roster and it’s highly unlikely he’ll sign a minor league deal with the team. The Giants have been a “top heavy” organization for decades, frequently failing to populate their minor league system with young players (you can hear our own Roger Munter talk about this in the most recent episode of the McCovey Chroncast) or intriguing slightly older players with a longer minor league track record but limited or even no MLB time.
That’s largely the result of the Giants favoring MLB experience over youth, but also with a lot of development failure along the way, too. The Zaidi era might lead to fewer d’Arnauds and more Enrique Hernándezes.
Whatever happens to Chase d’Arnaud in 2019, it’s important to remember that he’s in a band, so, at the end of the day, even if his baseball days are numbered, he’ll always have the Chase d’Arnaud Band and what I predictive to be a lucrative post-playing career as a TV host:
Despite his lack of success at the plate, it would be tough to give a failing grade to one of the few outwardly positive and accessible players on the team. And he did pitch that scoreless inning. He also has a band.