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Tuesday April 13, 2010 11:22 pm

Slow starts may be costly for big leaguers




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Trevor HoffmanHow long into a season should a team wait before considering a change? Well, if you’re a fantasy team owner, you’ve probably already made a deal or two. If you were an MLB general manager, when would you think a change is appropriate? We’re into week two of this young season, and already there are dozens of players suffering through midseason-worthy slumps. Whether Spring Training wasn’t long enough or the players are just overwhelmed, they need to shape up and do so quickly.

With players like Texas’ Julio Borbon going 1-for-25 or Houston’s Carlos Lee hitting 2-for-27, you have to wonder how long these anti-streaks can continue before the coach considers a switch? The streaks aren’t limited to hitters either. Milwaukee’s 42-year old closer Trevor Hoffman has already blown two of four save attempts this season, giving up six runs including three homers in four innings pitched. It’s been a rough first week for some of baseball’s shining stars.

If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that there’s always somebody else ready to take our jobs if we’re not performing. Baseball is no different. Hoffman has a track record that warrants some more time for him to try to straighten out his issues, or at least two prove that blowing two out of four saves is just an anamoly in an otherwise successful career as a closer. 593 saves should earn at least that much for a guy.

What’s too bad for much of the rest of the league is that they don’t have the experience that Hoffman has and aren’t entitled to as much rope as he’ll get. The Borbon’s of baseball will have to straighten things out. Many people believe that you can’t win a World Series in April, but you certainly can lose one. Guys who go weeks slumping at the beginning of the year also have a lot tougher a time getting into a groove, and slumping while a team struggles to get wins is worst of all.

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