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Worst decline phases of great players

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  • #31
    Originally posted by redban View Post

    Bad decline, but not the worst. He always remained an above-average hitter with 30-HR power.
    https://www.baseball-fever.com/forum...58#post3440458

    He generated HR in the Cincinnati launching pad, but his legs were toast, his defensive and base running value was woeful.
    Jacquelyn Eva Marchand (1983-2017)
    http://www.tezakfuneralhome.com/noti...uelyn-Marchand

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post
      If I may expand the topic a little to speculate on future players, I'd point out that these huge, long-term contracts given to players around age 30 invite long declines, because a player is motivated to stay on long past his usefulness just to collect the money. ARod was an obvious example, Pujols is so far, and I'd certainly keep an eye on Miggy, who has all the makings of another late-age disaster.
      Yeah, with the disclosure last week of Miggy's back problems, a sudden miraculous revival seems pretty far-fetched for him, in addition to packing on extra weight. The Tigers are probably hoping he can rebound up to league-average DH level for a couple years before they have to completely write him off.

      While Pujols is only 34 hits short of 3,000, Cabrera is 334 hits short. That's two seasons if he "returns to form" or something like it, but three seasons if he has more dud seasons like this year.

      Which means, if he doesn't step up the pace and have a near-typical Cabrera season in 2018, the Tigers could have a decision to make.

      Say Cabrera has another season like 2017 in '18.

      That would put him still 200 hits short; if he's age 35, hitting .240 or less with 15 or fewer homers, and absolutely no defensive value, the Tigers may just decide to eat the rest of the contract and just tell him to go away.

      If he can get back up to, say, .280 and 25 homers, get halfway to 3000, play well enough in the field to not be an utter liability, then 2019 will be an easier decision for them.
      Last edited by StarStar00; 10-02-2017, 03:03 PM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Calif_Eagle View Post
        No love for Pete Rose on this topic? I thought I'd see his name by the 2nd post.
        During his last 4 years, Rose was a. 256 hitter with a .305 slugging and 2 homeruns in his final 1748 PA!!! This is a guy who couldn't run, couldn't hit, couldn't hit for power, couldn't field, and was out there solely because he kept himself in the lineup to break the record in a shameless manner. Trying to hit singles and only singles to pad his totals.

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        • #34
          Are we talking about position players or can pitchers be included?
          If we include pitchers, Carlton has to be included.
          27 World Championships
          22 retired numbers
          Isn't it great to be a Yankee fan?

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Floyd Gondolli View Post

            During his last 4 years, Rose was a. 256 hitter with a .305 slugging and 2 homeruns in his final 1748 PA!!! This is a guy who couldn't run, couldn't hit, couldn't hit for power, couldn't field, and was out there solely because he kept himself in the lineup to break the record in a shameless manner. Trying to hit singles and only singles to pad his totals.
            Yes. Maybe he played too long, but he declined fiercely during that time and IMHO he gets to own it as a decline phase. You can say that any player could avoid a decline by retiring and not playing through those type of seasons, regardless of their age. Rose was a good player at an advanced age when most players are finished, but he chose to push it beyond that in pursuit of 4,000 hits then 4191 or 4192 or whatever Ty Cobb is deemed by SABR to actually have ended with today.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Calif_Eagle View Post

              Yes. Maybe he played too long, but he declined fiercely during that time and IMHO he gets to own it as a decline phase. You can say that any player could avoid a decline by retiring and not playing through those type of seasons, regardless of their age. Rose was a good player at an advanced age when most players are finished, but he chose to push it beyond that in pursuit of 4,000 hits then 4191 or 4192 or whatever Ty Cobb is deemed by SABR to actually have ended with today.
              True, I guess it depends how we define 'decline phase'. To me, a guy like Rose who was good until age 41, then sucked, is a lot different than, say a Dale Murphy, who fell off a cliff at age 32, even if Rose was TERRIBLE. Anything a guy does in his 40s is just gravy..a REAL decline phase is usually in someone's 30s.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by willshad View Post

                True, I guess it depends how we define 'decline phase'. To me, a guy like Rose who was good until age 41, then sucked, is a lot different than, say a Dale Murphy, who fell off a cliff at age 32, even if Rose was TERRIBLE. Anything a guy does in his 40s is just gravy..a REAL decline phase is usually in someone's 30s.
                I agree with you that Murphy's was far worse in that it started when he might have still been expected to be productive. And Rose could have missed his altogether, had he not chosen to pass a milestone (4000 hits) & break the hits record (4191 or 4192) no matter whether he was through or not. Rose didn't have to have a serious "decline phase" but he apparently chose to in a backhand sort of way (sort of, one way to look at it.) It may not be the traditional earlier decline phase that many/most players experience, but decline he did.

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                • #38
                  Tim Lincecum. first five years: WAR 25.5, led the league in Ks three times, Cy Young twice..........last five years WAR -4.3 led the league in loses, earned runs and wild pitches (twice).
                  Last edited by morpheus1776; 10-11-2017, 11:22 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by morpheus1776 View Post
                    Tim Lincecum. first five years: WAR 25.5, led the league in Ks three times, Cy Young twice..........last five years WAR -4.3 led the league in loses, earned runs and wild pitches (twice).
                    Yes, but that decline was not "natural". i.e., due to age. Possibly it was due to overuse, in that he had a relatively frail body that couldn't endure the rigors of pitching as long as most pitchers do. But it's an interesting question to ask: if he had started pitching several years later than he actually did, would he have had the same peak performance extended into his early 30s?

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Stolensingle View Post

                      Yes, but that decline was not "natural". i.e., due to age. Possibly it was due to overuse, in that he had a relatively frail body that couldn't endure the rigors of pitching as long as most pitchers do. But it's an interesting question to ask: if he had started pitching several years later than he actually did, would he have had the same peak performance extended into his early 30s?
                      yes but it also wasn't a Freak injury. he had some injury Trouble but never really destroyed his elbow or shoulder. I would say it kinda was natural.

                      I think two factors played the biggest role:
                      1) he was a small guy who still threw very hard due to tremendous torque, stride explosivity and flexibility. those things at that Level are harder to maintain than a larger guy who can do that with less effort.

                      2)even in his prime he never had great command for a starter. His walks usually were like mid 3s per 9 and he got a ton of whiffs with sliders out of the Zone. hitters later learned to lay off his slider and when his FB declined it was easier to sit on the FB for them. thus he really needed his Velo and when it declined he couldn't really get by command. until 2014 included his Velo wasn't that terrible (down like 2 ticks but still around league average) but he already was very bad.
                      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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                      • #41
                        Barry Zito; first seven seasons WAR 30.9, 102-63, 125 ERA+. Final seven seasons WAR 3.0, 63-80, 87 ERA+.

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                        • #42
                          Lincecum and Zito's declines were no worse than Johan Santana's.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by redban View Post
                            Lincecum and Zito's declines were no worse than Johan Santana's.
                            really? Santana had a 133 ERA+ season at Age 31 and then had a basically career ending shoulder injury. tried to come back a couple times but Overall he just threw 117 innings after 2010 (which weren't great but he threw a no hitter in them and after the season injured the shoulder again and was done). Sanatana is more like koufax in that regard with the only difference that he tried to come back and koufax did not (and koufax was better in his prime of course, I only compare their career arcs).
                            Last edited by dominik; 10-18-2017, 07:04 AM.
                            I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by redban View Post
                              Lincecum and Zito's declines were no worse than Johan Santana's.
                              Disregarding his first couple of seasons, Santana was an excellent pitcher. He basically had only one "bad" year after attempting a comeback in 2012 following a year out of baseball. A relapsing shoulder did him in. Lincecum and Zito had multiple years in decline and were more liabilities to the team after a while.

                              I thought Sabathia was headed down the road as well, he managed to reinvent himself the past couple of years.
                              Last edited by morpheus1776; 10-20-2017, 10:33 PM.

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                              • #45
                                Ichiro deserves some mentioning. He hit 200+ hits every year for 10 years, then hits 184 and 178. After that he goes 7 more seasons and doesn't even come close, with 136 being his next best. Hasn't hit .300 since 2010 either, despite always being a .300 hitter before that. Its like his decline came out of nowhere.
                                Lou Gehrig is the Truest Yankee of them all!

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