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Last season at age 33 Vladimir Guerrero failed to reach 100 RBI for just the second time in his career. The only other time was in 2003 because he only played in 112 games. He also had the fewest extra base hits he’s had in a season since 1997 when he had only 325 at-bats. Even if the injuries were somewhat unpredictable this year, there was the start to a trend that Vlad wasn’t as intimidating as he once was. Much like Vlad, there are some long time stars who are showing their decline this season. Here are five of them:

  1. Johan Santana. Check out this article from David O’Brien in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Sure things aren’t going the Mets way this year, and maybe owners of Johan are counting their blessings that at least he’s healthy. So much has been made of Citi Field being a tough park to hit a home run, but Santana is giving up a home run once every 8.1 innings this year compared to one every 10.1 last year.
  2. Alex Rodriguez. Looking at his peripherals, A-Rod could catch a break, but it’s been that kind of year for him. His .263 BABIP will get higher, but not much given that he’s hitting line drives 2% less of the time this year. His home run per at-bat rate is still better than Evan Longoria or Kevin Youkilis, but not by much. Without the juice what are the odds of a 34 year old improving?
  3. Carlos Delgado. Similar to Vlad, never mind the injury. In Citi Field, what would Delgado be able to do anyway? And on second thought do mind the injury. Dude’s old. How well and how motivated will he be to recover. Most people pointed to last year as a fluke anyway.
  4. Roy Oswalt. He’s listed at 6 feet and 185 pounds. Ask Jack Cust what he thinks of lists. At that fragile frame, Oswalt is similar to Pedro Martinez. From age 32 to age 33, Pedro saw a 1.70 drop off in his ERA. The 32 year old Oswalt has already seen about a half a run drop off and has been hurting so far in the second half.
  5. Brad Lidge. Like three of the other names on this list, Lidge is past the point where you can say he’s in his “low 30s.” This year has been awful for him, but assuming he will bounce back because he was so brilliant in 2008 would be short-sighted. His whole career he’s been inconsistent. Also, Citizens has no plans to move the fences back.

2 Responses to Fantasy Fixtures Begin Fade

  1. Charlie Saponara says:

    These will all be great topics for debate as 2010 rolls around. The point about Johan and the HR ball is a very good one. He’s always been able to get away with giving up a good amount of homers because he doesn’t allow many baserunners. I was one who thought the move to Citi Field would help that number shrink a little. Nope. To be honest, with the rapid decrease in strikeouts over the past two seasons, I’m probably not even going to touch him in 2010 unless his stock falls dramatically.

    A-Rod is an interesting case. I think injuries have played a major role in his season. At the same time you have to wonder if he’s more of a .290-.300/30-35 guy than a .310/40-50 guys going forward.

    Carlos Delgado is DTM

    There are just sooooooo many starting pitchers that pop up every season and provide great value. Oswalt has so many question marks going forward, he’s one of those guys I might just rather pass up.

    As with A-Rod, I think an bum knee has a little to do with Lidge’s struggles. However, as you wrote, “His whole career he's been inconsistent” and his stock will drop dramatically in 2010. One thing that went almost unnoticed in 2008 was the fact that he walked 4.5 per 9 IP, which is not good at all.

    I almost can’t wait for the offseason to start digging into 2010 debates. Gotta stay focused though!!! Keep my eyes on the 2009 prize!

  2. Schruender says:

    Great point on Lidge. He also had an ERA over 3 in the second half of 2008, so he was very lucky not to blow a save at all that year.

    You are right as well about keeping your eye on the prize this year. Still a lot of games left and still a lot of players needing to pass tests.

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