rainman23 wrote:I don't buy that lineup protection thing at all. Maybe I'd feel different if I could see some Rockies games. Based strictly on reviewing the box scores and vomiting every day, though...I'd at least expect him to be walking more if they were pitching around him. He's K'd as often as he's walked this year, way down from his typical ratio. You'd expect it to be the other way, wouldn't you, if nobody was pitching to him?
I gotta say, at this point, anybody who is pitching around Helton is making a serious mistake.
his k/bb is a little worse than his career average, you're right about that. but he's had years when he had equal or worse k/bb ratio and still hit 35 113 .320 (1999), 49 146 .336 (2001), and 30 109 .329 (2002). he's also drawn the 7th most walks so far in baseball, and is on pace to walk (103) nearly equal to or more times than he did in 2000 to 2002 (103, 98, 99 respectively).
i don't think the answer for his slump lies in his k/bb or bb or lineup protection. i don't know exactly what it is either, but my guess would be that it's either mental (like a-rod last year), intentional (setting it up so that when he asks for a trade the rockies fans don't blast him? he never seemed like that kind of a guy though and even to me that sounds farfetched), or physical (injuries or steroids - although i never thought of him as the kind of guy who'd use steroids though).
if i had to choose out of those 3 right now, i'd go with mental, which also gives him the best chance of turning it around in the 2nd half.
I wasn't offering this as an explanation for his problems. It's a symptom of his problems, not the root cause. I only mentioned this to refute the idea that nobody is pitching to him.
I've been considering that same idea -- cut my losses and use him as a throw-in if I have to. (It's interesting that someone recently dealt him for M. Cabrera...I'd be embarrassed to make that offer.) I agree, though, you can always do better than dropping him outright.
Currently fielding him in Coors, and Overbay with the Rox on the road. As above, I hope it's mental, in the same manner as the Chavez slump. Amazing to think this was the guy i had down as the consistent 'sure thing' in my lineup.
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BritSox wrote:Currently fielding him in Coors, and Overbay with the Rox on the road. As above, I hope it's mental, in the same manner as the Chavez slump. Amazing to think this was the guy i had down as the consistent 'sure thing' in my lineup.
Me too. I was drafting last in my league, and it's funny to remember that I was hoping Helton would still be there when I chose. (Be careful what you wish for.) OBP is one of our stats, and I figured he'd anchor my lineup there. He's been an anchor all right, but not the type I counted on.
The biggest thing I see with Helton is his total inability to hit left-handed pitching this year. In the past, he was always rock-solid against lefties and righties, but that's changed:
vs. Left: .154/.275/.179, .454 OPS (78 at-bats)
vs. Right: .312/.443/.511, .954 OPS (141 at-bats)
vs. Left: .346/.441/.579, 1.020 OPS
vs. Right: .345/.457/.624, 1.081 OPS
Why he suddenly lost the ability to hit off left-handers, I don't know. He's only had 2 extra-base hits against lefties (both doubles) in 78 at-bats, and he's struck out 22 times (once every 3.5 at-bats). In 2004, he struck out once every 6.6 at-bats versus lefties.
The lineup around him stinks, especially with Barmes down and out for a while, but he should still be able to hit.
I think it's a fair question to ask how long you hold onto him, when his SLG is below .400 and 40% of the season is gone. Do you wait until the season is half-over? 75%? At some point, I think you have to cut bait, and get what you can.
This topic could apply to other players who were high draft picks (or were expected to play up to their usual high standards), like Victor Martinez, Lance Berkman, and Adrian Beltre.
How long do you keep a guy who continues to kill your team every day?
Roger Angell: I was talking with Bob Gibson and I said: 'Are you always this competitive?' He said: 'Oh, I think so. I got a three-year old daughter, and I've played about 500 games of tic-tac-toe with her and she hasn't beat me yet.'
I would be surprised if you could get Burnett for Helton right about now. His numbers are almost as bad as Giambi's. He is showing no signs of coming out of it. Ans with each passing day of this total suckitude, the roid suspicions grow.