Isn’t it time we stop giving up on players?

For anyone who follows baseball the slump is part of the game.  Players slump for many reasons but rarely does that slump mean the player is done. Sometimes it is true, but given how many times I’ve read that a player is done, it is rarely true.  You can quote new stats but do they still mean anything about a slump? If a player has a low BABIP you can expect it to rise to his normal levels everything else being equal. If a player has a low exit velocity or is hitting to many pop ups that clearly explains that he’s in a slump but doesn’t mean he’ll continue to hit that way since the art of hitting a baseball is all about adjustments and hitters have been making these adjustments for over 100 years.

Sometimes a player does fall off a cliff (Carl Crawford) but in general it is a slow gradual spiral down the path toward retirement. The Adrian Gonzalez path. Adrian is no longer what he was, but Adrian is still going to be a productive hitter who will find that injuries aren’t as easy to play through the older he gets.  Eventually Adrian will have to decide if being a mediocre hitter is good enough for him to continue to play in the major leagues, but that decision will come after his last paycheck from the Dodgers in 2018.

Last year at this time Dodger fans were ready to give up on Yazmani Grandal and trade for Jonathan LuCroy. Good thing that didn’t happen.

Last year at this time Dodgers fans were ready to give up on Justin Turner and wanted the front office to trade for Evan Longoria. Good thing that didn’t happen.

This winter Dodger fans wanted the team to get rid of Enrique Hernandez.

Last month Dodger fans wanted the team to cut Chase Utley.  Good thing that didn’t happen.

If you cry wolf enough, sometimes you’ll be right but in general it might be a good idea to simply recognize a slump is a slump and baseball is baseball.

Right now Joc Pederson is in a slump. Taking walks doesn’t change the fact he isn’t hitting his way on base. Joc pretty much has one major offensive calling card and that is his power. Guys who are this young who have hit 51 home runs in two years don’t usually forget how to hit home runs. They will come, and they will probably come in big ass batches.

That doesn’t mean I’m not going to point out that Joc has only one home run since he hit his grand slam on opening day. That also doesn’t mean I’m giving up on Joc, I’m just pointing out statistics that are interesting to me.  When I point out that a player is struggling don’t read into that, that I’m down on that player.

You’ll know when I’m down on a player.

And right now that only Dodger player might be Romo. I haven’t decided yet.

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2 Comments

  1. Mike Sacha

    This is fantastic Phil. It is probably my biggest complaint about the “new baseball fan”. He sucks! He shouldn’t even be in the majors. He’s 4A. He sucks, he sucks and more he sucks. Players are pigeon holed when they are young. You can’t hit righties, you can’t hit lefties, you can only pitch 5 innings…blah, blah and more blah. Gary and I had a great conversation Sunday about just this. Great job Phil. Thank you!

    Like

  2. Thanks Mike appreciate the feedback. I know I myself have fallen under this influence.

    Like

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