While everyone is talking about who’s going to make the All-Star team, here are five players we can be sure won’t be spending July 12-14 in Anaheim, unless they’re paying their own way. Starting with Matt Kemp, here are 2010’s biggest disappointments.
Matt Kemp, Dodgers
After signing a two-year extension in the offseason and hobnobbing with a Hollywood hottie, Kemp has put together a poor 2010. After hitting close to .300 last year, Kemp is hitting just .258 with a .316 on-base percentage. And his fielding has been even worse. While UZR may not be the most reliable in small samples, his mark of minus-16.5 is by far the worst of any center fielder in baseball, and it’s not even close.
Chone Figgins, Mariners
Figgins reached base nearly 40 percent of the time last season, but his OBP has dropped down to .337 this year. Some of this may stem from losing his line-drive stroke, but he’s also striking out far too often. Figgins has taken the walk of shame 17.5 percent of the time over his entire career but is striking out five percent more often this season. For a player who doesn’t have power and relies heavily on speed, he needs to put the ball in play a lot more often.
Adam Lind, Blue Jays
Lind made huge strides in 2009 but has regressed to his previous levels of performances. After swinging at about 25 percent of pitches outside of the zone in 2009, Lind is chasing pitches at a 32 percent rate. He is even swinging at more pitches inside the zone and is making far less contact overall. This has led to his strikeout rate rising almost 9 percent compared to last year, and he’s hitting just .204/.265/.344 on the year.
Randy Wolf, Brewers
The Brewers were counting on Wolf to anchor their rotation when they signed him to a three-year, $29.75 million contract this offseason, and he hasn’t performed up to expectations. Wolf is throwing 6 percent more balls compared to last season and is walking batters at nearly twice the rate. The result? A 4.92 ERA.
Trevor Hoffman, Brewers
The fact that the Brewers have two players on this list should partially explain their .447 winning percentage. During Hoffman’s historic career, he has been known for two things: “Hells Bells,” and his changeup. The music still plays whenever he comes in for a save, but the changeup doesn’t trot in with him. Since 2008, Hoffman has lost nearly 4 inches of downward movement on his change. When you can no longer keep hitters off balance with your fastball, losing movement on your most important pitch is a death sentence. The 42-year-old has allowed seven homers in 24 innings, and his days as a closer appear to be finished.
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