With one full week remaining in July, time has run out for several struggling players to right themselves. The end of July also brings baseball's non-waiver trade deadline, meaning that some of these slumping players will be replaced by outside help.
Upgrading positions that are under-performing is especially important for teams that are involved in playoff races. The Giants are in first place and trying to hold off the Dodgers for the NL West lead. The Braves are within reach of first place in the NL East. And the Cardinals and Diamondbacks are still alive in their respective division title and wild-card races.
It's possible that a couple of the players we'll mention here will have been replaced in the week to come, whether by demotion to the minors or a spot on the bench. Even with a good performance, it might be too late to change the perception that's developed over nearly four months. But while these players still have an opportunity to make a good impression, some immediate improvement would really help them.
Here are five National League players who need to have a good week.