Originally Posted by MrMister
He's been that bad since about June/July of last season. Just a terrible hitter and it happened so suddenly.
His August/September actually wasn't too bad. I mean, he K'd a lot but he hit for some pop. Problem is when a guy is as free swinging as he is you're gonna be more prone to falling into terrible slumps. Considering he's one of the most free swinging players in the game pitchers are gonna pitch away and make him swing himself out. He never was a heavy walk guy but last year he at least had a decent walk rate but just K'd too much. He's also making worse contact. His line drive rate is only 19%, while he was consistently 21% throughout his career. He's also hit popups in 9% of his appearances, which is awful and much higher than his career worst or career totals.
Don't know if he's pressing because of his huge contract, causing him to chase pitches that aren't good and making weak contact, or if his skills have just diminished that rapidly. I wanna lean toward the former since he is such a feast or famine player and can really carry a team for 3 weeks or so when hot, but already being 32 this could just be your typical decline of a player.
EDIT: He's been using Hunter there throughout the year, this must've just been one of his days off. Truly I'd like to see him put Cabrera at 2 and see how an AJax/Cabrera 1-2 leadoff combo would work, but with Leyland in his old school ways that will never happen. Plus, Hunter hasn't been awful at #2.
Martinez hitting 5th though... ugh