It’s always difficult when a player is struggling. What does the future hold? Will they be able to turn it around? Could they potentially lose their role? Obviously each case is different, so let’s take a look at a few players and try to determine how to proceed:
Scooter Gennett – Second Baseman – Cincinnati Reds
2019 Statistics – .167 (4-24), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 0 SB
It’s been a miserable return for Gennett, but let’s not forget that it’s a miniscule sample size… A sample size that’s impossible to draw any definitive conclusions from (even though you may want to try). He did struggle during his 26 AB rehab assignment (.154 with 0 HR and 0 RBI), so it is fair to be concerned but don’t make that mistake.
Remember Gennett is the same player who hit .295 and .310 over the past two seasons while adding 50 HR and 189 RBI. He should get on track before long, whether it’s his Hard% (23.5%) or his approach (11.9% SwStr%, 40.0% O-Swing%). Stay patient and ultimately reap the rewards.
Verdict – Don’t Ditch
German Marquez – Starting Pitcher – Colorado Rockies
2019 Statistics – 4.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.84 K/9, 1.98 BB/9
Those statistics are prior to yesterday’s debacle at home, where the San Francisco Giants torched him for 11 ER on 11 H and 0 BB over 2.2 IP. It’s easy to have a knee jerk reaction based off those numbers, as his ERA inflated all the way to 5.12 and his 37.3% Hard% does give cause for concern. At the same time, do the actual skills back up these numbers:
- Strikeouts – 8.84 K/9 (courtesy of a 12.9% SwStr%)
- Control – 1.98 BB/9
- Groundball Rate – 51.5%
He’s surprisingly struggled with home runs, including giving up a pair yesterday. You would think that the skill set would play well, even at home, but even entering the day there was a notable split:
- Home – 5.73 ERA
- Road – 3.33 ERA
The easy decision would be to cut bait as quickly as possible. The skills say differently, and at the very least he’s a must start when he’s starting on the road (for now).
Verdict – Don’t Ditch
Other Players You May Be Considering Ditching:
- Oscar Mercado (OF, CLE) – He’s hit an incredibly rough patch, going 1-25 to start off July. His approach has regressed (13.5% SwStr%, 37.0% O-Swing%), and maybe seeing more breaking balls has helped lead to the struggles (42.71% in July). The Indians are still winning and that should afford him time to right the ship, and we can’t forget how hard speed is to come by. Stay the course and give him time (and he showed us why yesterday). – Don’t Ditch
- Matt Strahm (P, SD) – The Padres made the decision to shift him to the bullpen, though that shouldn’t come as a surprise. There’s a chance he settles into a significant role, but that’s no guarantee. Considering the depth of RP, until he proves otherwise it’s easy to move on – Ditch
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball, MILB.com, ESPN