One MLB Player Who Could Doom Each Contender's Chances for the Offseason

Anthony LifrieriContributor ISeptember 1, 2011

One MLB Player Who Could Doom Each Contender's Chances for the Offseason

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    Ah, the playoffs.

    One of the most exciting times of the year is the month of October when football is in full swing and MLB is in the heart of its playoffs.

    We get the top eight teams in the game duking it out for supremacy and trying to hold on to summer for one more glorious day.

    However, it's not happiness for every single player on every team.

    Some players are hindrances to their teams, and others can even doom their teams.

    Here is every contender's player who could doom their team's chances.

Boston Red Sox: Jon Lackey

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    Lackey has been a major letdown since coming to the Red Sox last season.

    They can’t boot him from the rotation because he makes too much money, and unless he gets his act together, it’s an automatic loss every game they trot him out.

    Lackey can also end up taxing the bullpen.

    While that may be OK in the regular season, it definitely can’t work in the postseason.

Honorable Mention: David Ortiz's Steroid Dealer

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    David Ortiz's three season average splits for 2008-2010: .257/27/97.

    David Ortiz's splits so far this season: .314/28/88.

    And, he's still got a month to go.

    Coming from the guy who, "never took no steroids," I believe him.

    And for those of you in Boston who will say I'm a Yankee homer, here's your own Bob Ryan's perspective.

    So for Red Sox Nation, the goal is simple: Keep getting Papi his steroids.

New York Yankees: A.J. Burnett

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    Allen James Burnett WILL be the Yankees' ruination simply because Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi won't quit on him.

    He obviously can't pitch in New York anymore, and there are several other pitchers who deserve a roster spot, like Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes

    They're even stalling the rotation cut hoping Burnett will make a good enough start to justify booting Hughes or Nova from the rotation.

Texas Rangers: Alexi Ogando

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    Ogando emerged as the Rangers’ ace this season, but recent shellings have derailed confidence in the budding All-Star.

    Ogando is primarily a fastball pitcher, and better teams—like the Red Sox and Yankees—both hit Ogando hard in starts against him.

    He needs another pitch to take the next step, but he won’t develop it in time to help the Rangers this postseason.

Detroit Tigers: Victor Martinez

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    I guess I like to bash V-Mart.

    Seriously though, Victor Martinez does not hit for power, which does not help an offense like the Tigers'.

    The face he hardly ever plays the field will also ruin any chance the Tigers have of winning the World Series.

Anaheim/California/Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim): Howie Kendrick

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    Kendrick is a tremendous player, and I don’t think he’ll hurt the Angels' chances in the playoffs by his play.

    Rather, he’ll end up hurting the Angels by his lack of play.

    Kendrick is the very definition of "injury-risk." He often spends multiple stints on the DL every season.

    Losing his bat for an extended period is sure to make the Angels fall. Not even Dr. McCoy can keep him healthy.

Philadelphia Phillies: Roy Oswalt

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    Oswalt is past his prime and could hurt the Phillies more than he helps them come playoff time.

    If the Phillies only have to depend on him as a fourth starter, they should be OK.

    However, an injury to Doc, Cliff or Hamels could cost the Phils a chance at the title.

Atlanta Braves: Fredi Gonzalez

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    Okay, kind of cheating on this one, but I want to point out Gonzalez’s lack of managerial experience in the playoffs.

    I think he’s a fine baseball man, but he’s not Bobby Cox. While that may cost the Bravos this playoff run, don’t look for it to cost them in the future.

    Once Gonzalez gets his playoff legs, the Braves will be a scary team.

Milwaukee Brewers: Yovani Gallardo

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    Gallardo has been wildly inconsistent the entire season, and that doesn’t bode well for the playoffs.

    While things have finally gotten back on track for the Brew Crew, they still have to go out and win in October.

    If one of their aces falters, so too will the team, and Gallardo seems to be most likely to falter.

    Honorable Mention: Zack Greinke for all the same reasons.

St. Louis Cardinals: Chris Carpenter

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    Carpenter makes this list for the same reasons Howie Kendrick makes this list.

    Throw in Carpenter’s 36-year-old body, and things become even riskier.

    He also hasn’t spent much time on the DL yet. You know what they say about Murphy’s law…

Arizona Diamondbacks: J.J. Putz

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    Putz has been decent holding down the Arizona bullpen, but it won’t last forever.

    He’s been surviving in the friendly confines of the NL West where every offense outside of Colorado’s is poor, at best.

    When Putz has to deal with closing out high-pressure playoff games against the better offenses of the league—such as Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Atlanta—he will fail.

San Francisco Giants: Carlos Beltran

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    Beltran is a typical example of the Omar Minaya Mets.

    Beltran puts up gaudy regular-season stats when it doesn’t matter and comes up short in clutch situations.

    Sure, he had that great playoff run with the Astros, but he hasn’t been clutch since.

    The Giants may have the pitching to win, but they need to score two or three runs per game, and Beltran will never provide that against the likes of the Phillies and Brewers.