Some players aren’t playing up to their career expectations. They could be doing better; they could be doing worse.
Is it real? It it Memorex? Is it a train wreck?
Let’s take a look.
Russell Martin, C—New York Yankees
After looking like has on the way to stardom early in his career, Martin was steadily declining with the Dodgers due to injuries and apparent apathy. He got off to a blazing start this year with the Yankees and has, again, steadily declined.
You can say he’s hurt with a back problem, but even if he was healthy, the American League was going to catch up to him. Look at his current numbers and they’re right in line with what he posted in 2009-2010.
Casey Kotchman, 1B—Tampa Bay Rays
Kotchman is batting .345.
Kotchman will not continue batting .345.
Kotchman is going to plummet to earth soon.
Joaquin Benoit, RHP—Detroit Tigers
The risk you run when paying a 33-year-old journeyman $16.5 million after his one big season is that he’ll regress. That’s what happened with Benoit early in the season for the Tigers. He was horrific for April and most of May.
He’s been very good since late May; his strikeout numbers and control are solid; and he’s only allowed one homer. Benoit should be good for the rest of the season.
Adam Dunn, DH—Chicago White Sox
Dunn is batting under .200 and hasn’t been hitting for much power.
He’s pressing and getting used to a new league and a new role as full-time DH. Dunn’s going to start hitting homers consistently and he always gets on base.
Joakim Soria, RHP—Kansas City Royals
Soria was misused by former Royals manager Trey Hillman so there’s the possibility that something’s wrong with him and he’s not saying anything; but if he’s healthy, he’ll be fine and closing effectively again before long.
Justin Morneau, 1B—Minnesota Twins
I would be very concerned about Morneau if I were the Twins. He’s been able to play after missing most of last season after a concussion and post-concussion syndrome, but he’s batting .220 with no power (4 homers, 0 at home).
Alexi Ogando, RHP—Texas Rangers
He throws strikes; doesn’t allow many homers; doesn’t allow many hits or walks; and pitches deeply into games.
It’s not a hard formula.
Chone Figgins, 3B—Seattle Mariners
Whatever happened to this guy on the way from Anaheim to Seattle, it appears permanent—at least as long as he’s playing for the Mariners. I didn’t like the signing, but unless you chopped off one of Figgins’s arms you couldn’t have expected him to be this bad.
Dan Uggla, 2B—Atlanta Braves
Uggla’s trying too hard and he may have overdone the weights this past winter. He’ll start hitting. Soon.
John Buck, C—Florida Marlins
Normally a smart organization, the Marlins made a huge mistake giving Buck $18 million.
Justin Turner, INF—New York Mets
Jason Bay, LF—New York Mets
Turner is a pump-and-dump player; he’s becoming a cult hero, but is not a long term solution as anything other than a utility player and as far as utility players go, I prefer Daniel Murphy.
Bay has been too good a hitter for too long to continue struggling so terribly unless he’s hurt. Like Uggla and Dunn, he’s pressing and will eventually hit.
Charlie Morton, RHP—Pittsburgh Pirates
People went overboard when the season started as Morton pitched brilliantly. You can take a replication of Roy Halladay‘s motion to a point, but then the individual’s abilities have to take over.
Morton’s biggest leap forward this year wasn’t in imitating Halladay, but by only allowing 2 homers so far. His control hasn’t been great, but it’s been in line with what it’s always been. He’s not an ace, but he can be an effective starter as long as he avoids the long ball.
Ryan Roberts, OF—Arizona Diamondbacks
Roberts might be a Casey Blake-type player who’s a late-bloomer and needed nothing more than the knowledge that his name is going to be in the lineup every day. He played well—similarly to the way he’s playing now—in 2009 and put up decent power numbers consistently in the minors.