Over the winter, I know that general managers were agonizing over one important decision: Do we bring him back, or do we let him go?
When contracts run out, teams have to decide which players they will bring back. A few good years doesn’t necessarily guarantee a few more years of success, but if that player has some more time left, it is naturally a good idea to bring him back.
For the purposes of this article, let’s focus on the first problem. What players have taken a step back this season? Again, just because you were a major star in the past does not necessarily guarantee continued success.
Any statistics used are from Baseball-Reference.com.
I have to admit that I was a little bit surprised when Josh Hamilton moved from the Texas Rangers to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim until I saw the massive contract he was awarded.
While I do not doubt that he will get back on track in the very near future, the Rangers must be somewhat happy that they did not spend all that money.
Hamilton only has two home runs so far this season, and his average is dipping down toward the Mendoza Line. Also, he is striking out approximately one out of every four times he steps to the plate.
Obviously, superstars need to produce more, and I don’t doubt that Hamilton will get his act together. However, as of right now, the Rangers must be pretty happy that they were outbid.
Although last season was by no means spectacular for Dan Haren, the former All-Star was hoping for a good 2013 to get him right back into elite company.
Unfortunately, this season has not started out that well. His ERA has ballooned to 5.01, and he is nearly allowing one-and-a-half runners on base every inning pitched.
The Washington Nationals are not counting on him to lead their rotation, so I guess that is kind of a benefit. However, even a pitcher at the bottom of the rotation needs to do a little bit better.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are having enough of their own issues this season, so I bet they’re pretty happy they don’t have to deal with another player who is off to a slow start.
Scott Baker was planning on being back in the rotation for the start of the season, but he is now sitting on the DL after he had a little bit of a setback during spring training.
I put him on this list because obviously the Minnesota Twins are happier than they would be if he was in their rotation. At least by not having him return, they made plans and have a complete rotation.
He might return and do great. I think that he has potential, and the Minnesota Twins might ultimately regret not bringing him back, but as of right now, they are probably happy that they did not take a chance on his return from Tommy John.
Melky Cabrera must have had a very distinct goal entering the season. On one hand, I am sure that he wanted to build on his amazing success from last year where he ended up with a .346 batting average.
Unfortunately, this season has not necessarily continued that trend. He has yet to hit a home run and has only driven in six runs. His batting average is about 100 points below what it was last year.
I know that we still have a small sample size, and he has plenty of time to bring that average up, but so far this season, he has not been part of the resurgence that was supposed to happen with the Toronto Blue Jays.
As a Philadelphia Phillies fan, I used to love watching Ryan Madson pitch at the end of games. Unfortunately, he missed all of last season thanks to Tommy John surgery, and the Cincinnati Reds never really got any benefit out of him.
They decided not to bring him back, so he went to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He has yet to make an appearance, but I hope that we can see him back soon.
He has plenty of potential, and he used to be a great pitcher in the eighth and ninth innings. However, he needs to get back on the field.
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