Using the best technology available to us today, The SlumpBot .200 identifies five players who are currently having a bit of trouble and then offers solutions for performance recovery. It is powered by BLS contributor Nick Friedell and does its work every Tuesday.
Carlos Silva, Mariners
Data: 3-5, 6.00 ERA
Malfunction: Silva, who signed a four-year, 48 million dollar contract in the off-season, has lost five of his last six starts. The right-hander has given up 19 earned runs and 27 hits over 10 and 2/3 innings over his last three outings.
Diagnosis: Silva didn't just simplify his start on Friday with this quote, he pretty much summed up the Mariners season to this point. The M's have the worst record in the AL, at 21-37. "If I make my pitches, I'm going to be able to get outs," said Silva. "I didn't make my pitches. Nothing was moving today, nothing. I didn't have anything on the ball." (Spokesman Review)
Reboot Directions: The best news for Silva is that his next scheduled start is set for tomorrow against the Angels. He has already defeated the Angels once this season, going eight innings and giving up just three earned runs. In his career, Silva is 6-1 against the team with a 3.55 ERA.
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Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers
Data: .251 average, 1 HR, 20 RBI
Malfunction: Pudge is 1-for-18 over his last six games, and has struggled all season to hit consistently.
Diagnosis: Rodriguez's cold start has led some in the media to question whether or not it is time for him to retire. Although he is in the final year of his contract, the catcher insists that he is not ready to leave the game yet. "Is this going to be my last year?" Rodriguez said. "I don't think so. Anybody who says that is not telling the truth ... I don't feel like I am my age. I feel very good, like I can be in the game for a long time." (Mlive.com)
Reboot Directions: It may be too late to reboot Pudge in Detroit. His average has decreased in each of the last three seasons. In '06 he hit .300, in '07 he hit .281, and right now he finds himself at .251. If the Tigers continue to struggle, look for them to deal him near the trade deadline. Perhaps a new team would re-energize the aging veteran.
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Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies
Data: 1-6, 5.37 ERA
Malfunction: Jimenez has lost four of his last five starts. The young right-hander has surrendered 10 earned runs and 17 hits over 9 innings during his last two starts.
Diagnosis: Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post pointed out some interesting numbers when it comes to Jimenez and the rest of the Rockies rotation. The starting rotation has a 5.61 ERA this season, the worst in the league. Also, the team is 4-18 in games started by Jimenez and Jeff Francis. Last year the Rockies were 29-20 in games started by those two pitchers. (Denver Post)
Reboot Directions: More than anything, Jimenez must cut down on his walks. He has 36 this season, which is tied for sixth most in the majors. The right-hander also must start winning on the road. In eight starts this season away from Coors Field, he has compiled an 0-5 record and a 6.75 ERA.
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Mike Napoli, Angels
Data: .214 average, 10 HR, 23 RBI
Malfunction: Napoli has seen his average drop over 40 points in the last 9 games. He is in the midst of a 1-for-23 slump with 0 HR and 0 RBI.
Diagnosis: Napoli is what he is — a feast or famine hitter. He leads the team with 10 home runs, but hasn't hit one since May 18, when he hit two against the Dodgers. The catcher's problem seems to be that he just can't hit left-handed pitching. He is hitting just .176 against lefties this year, with 0 HR, 2 RBI, and 5 K's.
Reboot Directions: Have a little patience with Napoli for now, considering this is only his second season in the big leagues. The Angels' catcher should get his batting average back up this week against the Mariners, especially on Wednesday against Slumpbot buddy Carlos Silva. Napoli is 4-for-6 in his career against the right-hander.
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Paul Konerko, White Sox
Data: .205 average, 6 HR, 24 RBI
Malfunction: Konerko is 7-for-39 over his last 10 games, and is part of the reason why Ozzie Guillen probably has a migraine every day when he thinks about his offense.
Diagnosis: Although not calling him out by name, Guillen was obviously referring to Konerko (and several others) when he went on his tirade about the White Sox lack of offense on Sunday. The slugger, who has hit at least 30 home runs in each of the last four seasons, has struggled to hit with any consistency this year. One reason for that might be that Konerko has been battling a thumb injury for most of the year, something he took a cortisone shot for last week.
Reboot Directions: In order to get back on track Konerko must hit on the road. In 31 games this season away from the Cell, the White Sox slugger is hitting just .186 with 2 HR and 24 K's. Things probably won't be getting much better for him tonight, either. That's because the White Sox face Zack Greinke and the Royals. Konerko is just 3-for-28 off Greinke in his career with 9 K's.