Each year we see players come to their breaking points. It could have been a game, a team or a single moment that set him off.
The next thing you know, though, he’s bashing a Gatorade bucket or his injuries have completely overtaken him. Meltdowns come in several forms—both physically and mentally. It only takes one instance.
These are some guys who may be headed for some sort of a major meltdown in 2012.
Roy Oswalt had a very disappointing 2011 season. He ended with a losing record and dealt with injuries throughout the year. At 34 years old, Oswalt is on the wrong side of 30 and may have begun his decline.
He is a relatively even-tempered baseball player, so a meltdown might not be so much emotional as physical.
Whoever ends up signing Oswalt needs to consider the possibility that they may overspend for a player whose production is about to completely fall apart.
B.J. Upton isn’t known for his pleasant demeanor and good character. That isn’t saying he is an awful person, but he has already had some scuffles in the clubhouse and on the field.
Don’t expect that to change in 2012. The outfielder already butted heads with captain Evan Longoria and if Upton’s attitude doesn’t improve, we may see a Round 2.
Grady Sizemore is constantly plagued with injuries. He re-signed with the Cleveland Indians, who are hoping he can stay on the field next season. There’s a good chance, though, that Sizemore will get hurt.
If he doesn’t keep track of his attitude, it could combine with his lack of production and cause a huge meltdown for the center fielder.
Hanley Ramirez underwhelmed last season, to say the least. His poor productivity both on the field and at the plate led the Miami Marlins to sign a monster contract with shortstop Jose Reyes.
That means Ramirez’s time at short with the Marlins is all but done. His attitude is already poor, but throw in less playing time or a trade he may or may not like, and Ramirez could be heading for a breakdown.
Rafael Furcal had a rough 2011, dealing with injuries throughout the year. When he was on the field, he posted career lows in batting average and on-base percentage.
The St. Louis Cardinals recently re-signed Furcal, but it is hard to tell if he will be able to stay healthy for the rest of the season. The 34-year-old could have a physical meltdown by the middle of the season.
It would be an understatement to say that Adam Dunn just didn’t come through for the White Sox last year. His numbers were awful and his huge contract doesn’t help soothe the pain.
Some think Dunn will have a bounce back year, but there is a good chance he’ll continue his decline. His attitude has already been criticized, and if he cannot improve next year, do not be surprised to see some flare-ups in the dugout.