• How Will A-Rod Perform In 2011?

    Posted by on February 9th, 2011 · Comments (20)

    Some valid points via Wally Mathews -

    Lost in the flameout of A.J. Burnett and the decline of Derek Jeter, in 2010 Rodriguez achieved something previously thought unattainable despite a career in which he has done just about everything, good and bad.

    The question for A-Rod this season is — as it is for Jeter, Burnett and Joba Chamberlain — is this as good as it’s going to be from now on?

    There’s little doubt that at this stage of his life and career — he will turn 36 on July 17 — and with his recent injury history, we have already seen the best of Alex Rodriguez.

    Some of that is no doubt due to a lack of chemical assistance. It must be recognized that since baseball finally got semi-serious about its PED problem, power totals are way down across the board, not just for A-Rod.

    And some of it has to do with injuries, notably the torn labrum in his right hip that caused Rodriguez to have surgery and miss the first six weeks of the 2009 season. And some, no doubt, has to do with increasing age.

    But whatever the reasons, there is no disputing that for the past three seasons, Rodriguez has been a shell of the player he was in 2007, when he led the league in home runs (54), RBI (156) and runs scored (143) and batted .314.

    Since then, the home run totals are 35, 30 and 30, the RBIs 103 and 100 respectively before last year’s 125, the slugging percentage steadily dropping to last year’s .506, his lowest since 1997.

    In fact, A-Rod posted several career lows in 2010: His batting average (.270), runs scored (74) and on-base percentage (.341) were the lowest since he became a regular in 1996. He walked fewer times, 59, than he had since 1999 when he played just 129 games, indicating he was either less patient at the plate — or pitchers were less fearful of pitching to him, especially with the red-hot Cano hitting behind him.

    According to the website FanGraphs.com, Rodriguez also made contact at a higher rate than at any other season of his career — in nearly 80 percent of his plate appearances he put the ball in play — but only 13.8 percent of those batted balls were line drives, by far the lowest total of his career.

    The numbers only reinforce what your eyes probably told you last season, that the ball no longer jumps off Alex Rodriguez’s bat the way it once did.

    Whenever it happens, there will be a day where A-Rod is a .270 hitter who is good for only 25 homers in a season. And, when that day comes, it will be open season on him in New York. The true story then will be how he handles it when it happens. My guess is that he will not handle it well.

    Comments on How Will A-Rod Perform In 2011?

    1. MJ Recanati
      February 10th, 2011 | 9:03 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      [T]here will be a day where A-Rod is a .270 hitter who is good for only 25 homers in a season. And, when that day comes, it will be open season on him in New York.

      It’s been open season on A-Rod since at least October 2004. If you ask me, I think he’s handled it pretty well, especially the past two seasons.

      There is nothing coming in the future that he hasn’t already gotten in the past, especially throughout the 2006 season when peopled treated him like a contagious leper that had commited treason and sold off precious American secrets to Al Qaeda.

    2. February 10th, 2011 | 10:42 am

      It’s easy to take the heat when you still end the season with 30 HR and 100+ RBI. Because, then, you will always have people – fans, media and the front office – who will have your back supplying the line of “Jesus, the guy hit 30-something homers and drive in over a 100 runs, how can you get on him for that?”

      But, it’s a different deal to take the heat when you don’t have the counting stats to use as a shield.

      That’s what I want to see, how well A-Rod deals with the heat when he doesn’t have that shield any more.

    3. MJ Recanati
      February 10th, 2011 | 10:56 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      He got crapped on for years when he was hitting 50 HR’s and winning MVP’s so, like I said, if he can be despised in New York when he’s the best player on the team, he’s already prepared for the venomm when he’s hitting .270 with 20 HR’s.

      When you’re hated in good times, the bad times won’t look that much different.

    4. Raf
      February 10th, 2011 | 3:36 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      That’s what I want to see, how well A-Rod deals with the heat when he doesn’t have that shield any more.

      I doubt it would be much different than it is now. People go out of their way to try and make him look bad. I suppose if he didn’t have the numbers, it would just make him an easier target.

      If he’s as vain as some make him out to be, I’m sure he’s already readying himself for the “onslaught.”

    5. Evan3457
      February 10th, 2011 | 7:46 pm

      He’ll probably improve somewhat over 2010, and possibly over 2009 as well.

      You’ll never see 2007 again, because a) he’s 4 years older and b) 2007 was a historic season. It is arguable that A-Rod had the greatest season by a right-handed hitter in the history of Yankee Stadium; I, II, or III.

    6. 77yankees
      February 10th, 2011 | 10:33 pm

      My guess is this is something that will be a soapbox issue for the media to provide fodder for daily columns, talk shows and nothing more.

      I’d like to think most knowledgeable Yankee fans understand that a player’s decline is inevitable with age. If Mariano implodes one of these years and has a 5.00 ERA, will everyone be up a tree too?

    7. February 10th, 2011 | 11:18 pm

      77yankees wrote:

      If Mariano implodes one of these years and has a 5.00 ERA, will everyone be up a tree too?

      If Mo was making $25 million a year and had 7 years left on his contract following that year he implodes, then, yes, the trees would fill up quickly.

    8. February 10th, 2011 | 11:20 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      You’ll never see 2007 again, because a) he’s 4 years older and b) 2007 was a historic season.

      And, with no opt-out/walk year in his current contract, there’s no need to post another season like the one in 2007.

    9. Jim TreshFan
      February 11th, 2011 | 1:14 pm

      A-Rod is in his declining years, like Jennifer Aniston, but both should remain tabloid fodder while giving us a few laughs for years to come.

    10. MJ Recanati
      February 11th, 2011 | 3:39 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, with no opt-out/walk year in his current contract, there’s no need to post another season like the one in 2007.

      A pure bullshit statement. 2005 wasn’t a walk year for A-Rod (and neither was 2003 for that matter) and yet he still came to play, like he always does, and had a good season. The same can be said of 2008 and 2009 (including the post-season).

      If you’re trying to say that A-Rod isn’t trying as hard because he doesn’t have a financial incentive to do so, you’re:

      (1) contradicting the original theme of this post because he’d be incentivized to do well in order to avoid the furor of poor seasons;and

      (2) once again showing your preposterous bias toward Rodriguez.

      Jeter just had a walk year and sucked a big fat pole. Guess he didn’t care enough about his team, right? I’m being facetious about Jeter to show you how absurd you are being about A-Rod.

    11. Evan3457
      February 11th, 2011 | 6:06 pm

      For what it’s worth, over at Fangraphs, the following projections are up for A-Rod:

      88 aggregated fans: 89-31-108-.285/370/.527/.897
      Marcel system: 74-26-96-.269/.354/.486/.840
      Bill James Handbook: 95-35-116-.284/.381/.530/.911

      Baseball HQ is currently projecting: 84-32-119-.285/.370/.527/.897

    12. Corey Italiano
      February 11th, 2011 | 6:49 pm

      My personal projection :

      .284/.375/.522 which is good for about 30 homers 120 knocks, with a 2 week dl stint mixed in there.

    13. February 11th, 2011 | 8:08 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Yes, it was just a coincidence that A-Rod had the year of his life in the same year of his opt-out clause. Just like it was a coincidence that the Knicks got the first pick in the lottery in 1985.

    14. February 11th, 2011 | 8:09 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      That’s one smart monkey.

    15. agsf
      February 11th, 2011 | 8:23 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: You are in serious denial. There were always those that pointed out just how great Arod was despite the hate. And Arod knew a lot of the criticism was unfair. If he’s 40 and a DH hitting 20 home runs and making 2o million, there will be no hiding. Unless he ages better than most, it’s going to get real ugly.

    16. Raf
      February 11th, 2011 | 11:42 pm

      agsf wrote:

      There were always those that pointed out just how great Arod was despite the hate. And Arod knew a lot of the criticism was unfair.

      Well then, there ya go. No matter the circumstances, haters gon’ hate. *shrug*

    17. Evan3457
      February 13th, 2011 | 7:44 am

      Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA is projecting:

      85-34-93-.273/.370/.517/.887

      I think that’s slightly low, especially on the RBI side, but…eh.

    18. MJ Recanati
      February 17th, 2011 | 9:59 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Yes, it was just a coincidence that A-Rod had the year of his life in the same year of his opt-out clause. Just like it was a coincidence that the Knicks got the first pick in the lottery in 1985.

      Then explain all of A-Rod’s other great seasons. Or Jeter’s most recent walk-year when he sucked.

    19. throwstrikes
      February 19th, 2011 | 9:14 am

      I find it sad that some people are anticipating a player on a team they root for to decline instead of looking forward to the good things that could happen in the coming years.

      The money is already spent and so move on already with the stupidity.

      How miserable must your life be to always see the glass as half empty.

    20. ken
      February 19th, 2011 | 1:06 pm

      We can all thank Hankenstein for this disaster in the making. He allowed the Yankees to bid against themselves and give him more years and more money than anyone one else would have come close to doing. It’s gonna get ugly. At least Hank now seems to be the least important of the Boss’s kids who are running the team. Arod’s current contract is Hank’s lasting contribution. (Who thought there was an owner more stupid than Tom Hicks?)

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