DROP THE ‘EARLY’ EXCUSE
Memo to players, broadcasters, managers, writers and bloggers: It’s not early anymore. At the end of the week most teams will have finished a quarter of their seasons. Players may rebound to have solid season averages, but it’s not early. So it can’t be used as an excuse for the following 10 players, who are just having bad years:
- Juan Pierre, LA- 0 8 .290 .318 .321 15/20 SB. People will glance at his .290 BA and his 15 steals and possibly think he is earning his massive salary. But Pierre is having a garbage year. 7 walks in 162 ABs is inexcusable for any player, let alone one that struggles to slug .350 each year.
- Ryan Zimmerman, WSH- 2 14 .250 .301 .355. After his incredible rookie season of 47 2Bs, 20 HR and 110 RBI, Zimmerman has yet to find his stroke. Even after a 3 game win streak, the Nats are just 12-25, already 12 games back of Atlanta and the worst team in the NL.
- Brian Giles, SD- 1 11 .298 .359 .371. The BA and OBP are solid, but Giles is light years away from the player that hit 30 or more homers each season from 1999-2002. Now 36, Giles bats 2nd in the Pads lineup–in front of Mike Cameron.
- Mike Cameron, SD- 1 10 .200 .271 .287. How is he hitting behind Giles? Cameron has K’d 41 times in 150 ABs, to go along with just 10 XB hits. Yes, he’s always K’d a lot, but the power outage and heinous BA might signal that Cameron, now 34, is on the downside of his fine career.
- Bob Abreu, NYY- 1 11 .236 .312 .296. The Yanks’ pitching hasn’t cut it, and either has Abreu. Always weird to see an OBP higher than a slugging percentage. Abreu has 6 XB hits in his 148 ABs. Forget the Home Run Derby; he was never a HR hitter. But he did have a power stroke, smashing doubles and triples while banging out 20+ homers, drawing a lot of walks and stealing bases along the way. Now he’s just drawing walks. And how long can that last when you’re the easiest out in the lineup?
- Garrett Atkins, COL- 2 15 .243 .329 .360. Big things were expected for Atkins in 2007 after mashing an OPS of almost 1.000 in ’06. Last year he hit .329 .409 .556 with 48 2Bs and 29 HRs. This year he’s gone on the Atkins Diet. (I’m sorry. I really am. I tried hard not to type that but it happened.) And lest you think he was merely a “Coors Creation”, Atkins road OPS last year was .933.
- Rocco Baldelli, TB- 5 12 .206 .270 .360. He had the cool name, was a slick centerfielder compared to Joe Dimaggio and was the prized prospect of Tampa Bay. He still has the cool name. And that’s about it. He did come back admirably from a knee injury last season, but Baldelli is from the Corey Patterson/Jeff Francouer school of hitting–if the pitcher throws it they will try to hit it. There’s no reason to throw him A) fastballs and B) strikes. Maybe the league has figured that out.
- Robinson Cano, NYY- 1 16 .237 .281 .319. The best thing you can say about Cano’s season so far is that he had a really nice year last year. He hit .342 last year and as of now he’ll be lucky to slug that much when ’07 is done. And like Baldelli, he retains his cool name. Which is nice.
- Carlos Delgado, NYM- 3 17 .209 .287 .328. Did Delgado get old this quick? We knew going to Shea would shrink his numbers some, but nothing like this. He had a solid year in his first year as a Met. He’ll need to get real hot to match it. I’ll be interested to see him against the Cubs tonight. How much longer can he keep batting 4th?
- Entire Offense, Chicago White Sox- You’d think this current group was playing in the dead ball era, so ugly are their current numbers. No regular player is hitting over .250. Konerko .194, Crede .205, Dye .203, Iguchi .210. With the absence of Thome (.340 .553 .680) they have been brutal. I’m no great lover of Scott Podsednik, but looking at box scores and seeing Erstad and Pablo Ozuna leading off is enough to make anyone sick. What’s most remarkable is that the Sox are 18-16.
[tags]Chicago White Sox, MLB[/tags]