Adam Wainwright and 5 MLB Big Names Who Always Overcome Slow Starts

Brandon BurnettContributor IIIMay 27, 2012

Adam Wainwright and 5 MLB Big Names Who Always Overcome Slow Starts

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    Some MLB players, even the most seasoned of veterans, consistently stumble through the early months of the season—one year after another.

    There's a reason, though, that some of baseball's finest find ways to fight through these slow starts to put forth solid production on a yearly basis.

    And when they do break out, they do so in a manner that is sure to grab our attention.

    In the coming slides, we'll look at five big names whose slow starts to the 2012 season will soon be a thing of the past.

     

    Note: All statistics were gathered from sports.yahoo.com and are updated through May 26, 2012.

Aramis Ramirez, 3B (Milwaukee Brewers)

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    2012 SEASON

    GP: 43

    Avg: .238  

    Runs: 27

    HR: 3    

    RBI: 25

    SB: 2

    OPS: .712

     

    Last season with the Chicago Cubs, Ramirez totaled just two HR and 19 RBI through April and May (49 games). 

    For June and July, though (53 games), A-Ram racked up 17 HR and drove in 44 runs. 

    Ramirez is a career .291 hitter after the All-Star break and .301 for the month leading up to the break (June). His early-season efforts in 2012 haven't been much different, but he's raised his average from .218 to .238 in the past week, featuring three consecutive multi-hit games (May 22-25).

    History tells us Ramirez is about to put on a show for his new squad.

     

    You can view Ramirez' career splits here.

Adam Wainwright, SP (St. Louis Cardinals)

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    2012 SEASON

    IP: 52.2

    W: 3

    L:  5

    ERA: 4.78

    WHIP: 1.37

    Ks: 49

    Walks: 17

     

    You might be blaming Wainwright's slow start on the injury that stole his entire 2011 season and forced him to have Tommy John surgery last February.

    Though Wainwright did seem to be laying to rest the nagging early-season woes when he put together an NL Cy Young-worthy campaign in 2010, the rust from the injury is simply glorifying an issue that's previously ailed the former 20-game winner.

    A brief look at Wainwright's career splits show quite a difference in how he pitches before July, as opposed to after.

    Wainwright sports a respectable pre-July record of 36-26, but is a remarkable 33-14 the rest of the way. As he maneuvers toward the end of the year, Wainwright's ERA improves drastically in July (1.99) and August (2.27), compared to April (3.62), May (3.35) and June (3.50).

    After a complete game shutout of the San Diego Padres May 23, Wainwright may have officially shaken off the rust in more ways than one.

Mark Teixeira, 1B (New York Yankees)

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    2012 SEASON

    GP: 43

    Avg: .248 

    Runs: 24

    HR: 8

    RBI: 28

    SB: 1

    OPS: .762

     

    Teixeira usually always follows up a disappointing month of April with an onslaught of homers the rest of the season. 

    After just five bombs to his credit for the first 41 games of 2012, Teixeira has smacked six hits (4 HR) and drove in seven over his last two games. While the two-game sample size leaves no guarantees, Teixeira looks to have found his stroke as we enter the dog days of summer.

     

    Noteworthy Trend: Since arriving in New York, Teixeira has suffered a steep decline in Avg.(.292 in '09, .248 in '11) and OPS (.948 in '09, .835 in '11), and these trends offer evidence that Teixeira may not produce as consistently the rest of the year as he has in years' past.

Jon Lester, SP (Boston Red Sox)

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    2012 SEASON

    IP: 61.0

    W: 3

    L:  4

    ERA: 4.72

    WHIP: 1.36

    Ks: 41

    Walks: 22

     

    At this point in time, things are not going well for Jon Lester.

    Lester's ERA and OBA (.262) are higher than they've been since his rookie season in 2006.

    He's never been a fan of April and May (4.10 and 4.06 ERAs for his career, respectively), but the Red Sox hurler turns into an instant All-Star in the mid-months of the baseball season. Lester has a history of pitching lights-out baseball in June (15-4 record, 2.52 ERA) and July (11-5, 2.99 ERA). 

    Lester's got his work cut out for him if he's going to right the ship in time for his favorite month of baseball, which is less than a week away. 

Troy Tulowitzki, SS (Colorado Rockies)

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    2012 SEASON

    GP: 41

    Avg: .279

    Runs: 29

    HR: 6

    RBI: 24

    SB: 1

    OPS: .813

     

    Believe it or not, Tulowitzki's .813 OPS after 43 games in 2012 shows he's actually ahead of schedule in that regard.

    Tulo is one of baseball's many notoriously slow starters, but he always earns his money when it's crunch time. A career .321 hitter after the All-Star break, it seems the best is yet to come for the Rockies' slugging shortstop.

    For his career, Tulo carries a .268 average during May, a number he puts to shame in the following months. He sports a .290 career average for the month of June and is a .300 hitter the rest of the way.

    With two HR and eight RBI in his last five games, is it safe to say he's already heating up?