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MLB Predictions: 10 NL East Players Who’ll Have Disappointing Seasons

Joey HnathCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2011

MLB Predictions: 10 NL East Players Who’ll Have Disappointing Seasons

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Fans of NL East teams are some of the best fans in all of baseball. But sometimes, they expect too much of some of their players.

    Take Troy Glaus last season.

    Braves fans expected too much out of him in 2010. He even increased expectations after a great month of May.

    But as the season wore on, he showed his age and the toll previous injuries had taken on his body, prompting the Braves to trade for Derrek Lee.

    Whether it's from lofty fan expectations, a high injury risk, or the feeling of comfort after signing a new contract, there will be many players in the NL East that will have disappointing statistical seasons in 2011.

    Here are 10 of those NL East players.

10. Omar Infante

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Omar Infante is one of the best utility men in the game, but unfortunately fans have unrealistic expectations for him in 2011.

    After a good 2010 season that earned him his first All-Star game appearance, Infante was traded along with reliever Mike Dunn to the Marlins for Dan Uggla.

    As bad as the Braves lineup was last season, Infante is now in a worse one. 

    Add on the fact that he is expected to make up for part of the lost production from trading Uggla, and Infante's 2011 season will be a disappointment to his new fans in Miami.

9. Jason Bay

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Bay has been a solid player for many years, with his 2009 season in Boston being by far his best. That year was also a contract year for him though.

    After Boston shied away from re-signing him, citing concerns about his knees, Bay signed with the Mets.  Though his 2010 season was cut short due to a concussion, Bay was struggling in his first season as a Met.

    Many Mets fans are hoping for a bounce back year in 2011, but with the combination of lofty expectations, a pitcher's park and bad knees, Bay will never again be the player he was in Boston.

8. John Buck

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    John Buck had a career year in 2010, posting career highs in almost every statistical category. He helped contribute to a potent Blue Jays lineup last year. 

    But as in many other cases, his career year came in a contract year.

    Buck signed with the Marlins this offseason. Though he may be a serviceable catcher for them, the ballpark and lack of support in the lineup will hurt his stats this season. 

    Don't expect another 20 home run season from Buck in 2011.

7. Chipper Jones

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Chipper Jones is one of the greatest Atlanta Braves of all time. But 2010 should have been his last season.

    On August 10th, Jones tore ligaments in his knee on the throw in the picture featured on this slide. He was already pondering retirement after the season, but decided to try and come back for one more go after the injury.

    This decision could prove to be costly for the Braves. Turning 39 in 2011, Jones' bat speed and fielding range have decreased drastically.

    Whether it's from another injury or lack of production, it would come as a shock if Chipper Jones is the Braves' third baseman the entire season.

6. Carlos Beltran

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Like his teammate Jason Bay, Beltran was unable to play a full 2010 season due to injuries. When he did get back on the field, though, it was apparent either the injury was still affecting him or that father time was starting to catch up to him.

    Turning 34 in April, Beltran is no longer a threat on the base paths. His power is starting to dwindle also. 

    Overall, 2011 might be a solid season for Beltran, but because he is Carlos Beltran, that will not be good enough.

5. Domonic Brown

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    The Phillies' prized prospect is set to take over in the outfield now that Jayson Werth is no longer in town. 

    Although he has tremendous upside, he will have some rookie slumps and struggle at times during the season.

    He'll have a decent year, but it won't be on par with Jason Heyward's rookie season. 

    That level of production won't be good enough for Philly fans.

4. Tim Hudson

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Tim Hudson had a great 2010 season, anchoring the Braves rotation while posting a 2.83 ERA. As great as he was in 2010, though, he will take a couple steps back in 2011.

    Hudson will be turning 36 in 2011 and just like Pedro Martinez, he is a pitcher of small stature. This will start slowing him down, as it did Martinez. 

    Hudson will still be a good pitcher, but 2010 was his last great season.

3. Anibal Sanchez

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    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Sanchez was a solid starter for the Marlins in 2010, winning 13 of his 32 starts while striking out 157. But before 2010, he had never made more than 17 starts in a season.

    For a guy with a history of shoulder problems, it's not crazy to think Sanchez will wind up on the disabled list once again. 

    Don't expect him to go another full season without an injury.

2. Johan Santana

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Santana will miss at least the first two months of 2011 after undergoing shoulder surgery in September.

    Even if he is able to come back in June, it is highly unlikely he will be the same Johan Santana as in previous seasons.

    Shoulder injuries are the worst injuries a pitcher can have and they usually linger for while. To think that Santana will come back 100 percent healthy in June is a stretch.

    Expect Santana to struggle once he initially comes off the disabled list and don't be surprised if he winds up on the DL a second time in 2011.

1. Jayson Werth

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    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Werth has been very productive in the middle of the Phillies' lineup the past three seasons. Now, he's taking his talents to our nation's capital, signing a seven year, $127 million contract with the Nationals.

    For a player who has never batted in 100 RBI in a season, that's an awful lot of money. Now that Utley, Howard and Rollins aren't hitting in front of him, how is he expected to ever reach that number?

    Add on the fact that he will be playing in a lot of meaningless games in August and September and Werth will not put up the same stats as he did in Philadelphia.

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