10 Ugly Early-Season Stats That Are Only Going to Get Worse

Brandon CroceAnalyst IMay 23, 2013

10 Ugly Early-Season Stats That Are Only Going to Get Worse

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    A Major League Baseball season is a 162-game marathon with the benefit being that if players start a season slow, they have time to break out and still have productive campaigns.

    Some players, however, have put together some pretty ugly stats that will be very hard to make respectable by season's end.

    Here are 10 players who have ugly stats that will only get worse as the season progresses. The reason I picked the majority of these players was due to the fact that their season stats are very similar to their career numbers.

Fernando Rodney

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    Ugly Stat: 17 walks in 18.1 innings pitched

    Last year, Fernando Rodney had one of the best seasons ever for a closer with 48 saves and an ERA of only 0.60. This year, the Tampa Bay Rays' closer has not been nearly as dominant.

    He has only converted nine of 13 save opportunities with an ERA of 5.40. The biggest difference this year has been his lack of control. He has given up 17 walks in 18.1 innings and already has surpassed his season total from a year ago.

    His walk totals this year are more in line with his career numbers and that is why it is hard to believe that he can turn his numbers around this year.

Ike Davis

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    Ugly Stat: 49 strikeouts in 143 at-bats

    You can throw out the 2011 season in which he only played 36 games, but Ike Davis has seen his batting average drop and his strikeout rate increase from two seasons ago. In 2010, Davis had a batting average of .264 and struck out in 26.4 percent of his at-bats.

    In 2012, his batting average dropped to .227 while his strikeout rate increased to 27.2 percent, but those numbers were dismissed by his 32 home runs. This year has been a struggle all around for Davis as his batting average has dropped to .147 and his strikeout rate has jumped to 34.3 percent.

    The power numbers aren't there either and Davis could be in store for a long season at the plate.

Victor Martinez

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    Ugly Stat: .217 Batting Average

    Victor Martinez's first season back since knee surgery has been a struggle at the plate for him in Detroit. He has a career batting average of .300 and hit .330 in 2011 so it is hard to believe that he has only been able to muster a .220 average this year.

    The concern at the start of the season was if Martinez could come back from microfracture and ACL surgery at his age. His struggles over the first quarter of the season could be attributed to rust from missing the entire 2012 season or the fact that he is getting older and has not been able to recover.

Dan Haren

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    Ugly Stat: 10 Home Runs given up in 50.1 innings pitched

    Dan Haren's time in Washington has been ugly, to say the least. He has really struggled with the long ball and given up 10 home runs through his first nine starts. 

    Haren signed a one-year deal with Washington and hoped to add some veteran leadership to a fairly young starting rotation. He has not been able to lead by example though with an ERA of 5.54 ERA.

    Haren has gone from allowing 20 home runs in 2011 to 28 in 2012 to a projected total of over 30 if he makes 30 starts this year. At age 32 and having made over 30 starts each season since 2005, the mileage on his arm could be catching up to him.

Rickie Weeks

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    Ugly Stat: .169 Batting Average

    Rickie Weeks has never been known as a hitter who can hit for average.

    He only has a career mark of .248, but this year has been especially painful to watch with his average of .167. The strikeout totals have to be a real concern with 52 through his first 154 at-bats.

    These are not the kind of numbers the Brewers were hoping to get from Weeks when they signed him to a four-year, $38.5 million contract extension in 2011. The Brewers also didn't expect to find themselves in the basement of the NL Central two years after being in the NLCS.

    It is hard to imagine either of these situations will change in 2013.

Mike Pelfrey

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    Ugly Stat: 6.69 ERA

    Mike Pelfrey's road back from Tommy John surgery has not been easy, as he has struggled in the early part of the 2013 season.

    He has tried to rebuild his arm strength, but has not shown an ability to pitch deep into games. In five of his nine starts, Pelfrey was not able to reach the sixth inning.

    That number could drop over the course of the season, but since Pelfrey has a career ERA of 4.47 it is hard to imagine that it would drop by much, especially as he tries to make a mound comeback from injury.

Josh Hamilton

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    Ugly Stat: .666 OPS

    Josh Hamilton, the $125 million man who the Angels signed this past winter, has not been able to live up to his contract through the first quarter of the season. He has a mark of only .656 for OPS, trailing other powerhouse sluggers like Angel Pagan, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Justin Smoak.

    Hamilton is only hitting .225 with six home runs and 16 RBI and while he is not entirely to blame for the Angels' record, his performance has played a role. These all have to be signs of concern for the Angels and making them second-guess the contract they gave out.

B.J. Upton

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    Ugly Stat: .155 Batting Average

    B.J. Upton has a career batting average of .251 so the Braves couldn't have expected him to hit for a high average when they offered him a contract this winter. However, they probably didn't expect him to hit only .153 through the first quarter of the season either.

    Upton has been overshadowed and outplayed by his young brother, Justin, this season and may be pressing more at the plate. He has been striking out at a higher rate and chasing pitches he might not have normally chased in past years.

Josh Beckett

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    Ugly Stat: 0-5 record through eight starts

    Josh Beckett has had a disastrous start to the 2013 season, going 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA and now finds himself on the DL with a left groin strain.

    The Dodgers had hoped Beckett could revitalize his career by coming back to the National League when they dealt for him from Boston last season, but it has not worked out.

    There isn't much going right overall for the Dodgers and it doesn't look like they can turn to Beckett to help turn the season around if he continues to pitch the way he has.  

Jeff Keppinger

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    Ugly Stat: 2 Walks through 157 at bats

    Jeff Keppinger did not register his first walk until the 33rd game of the season and is only hitting .204 to date.

    Keppinger signed a three-year deal worth $12 million this past winter, but has struggled and may see his playing time diminish when Gordon Beckham returns from the DL.

    Walks have never been a big part of his game. Keppinger has only surpassed 50 walks in a season once in his eight-year career. That was never a concern though because he has had a respectable career batting average of .282.