Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's been almost a week since the 2008 Major League Baseball All-Star game, but apparently some hitters have not yet returned from vacation. Here are five players, who have probably carried your fantasy team in the first half, which bear watching after starting the second half very slowly.
Three of the five are All-Stars - Aramis Ramirez, Ian Kinsler, Lance Berkman. And the other two could very easily have been in the "Summer Classic" - Derrek Lee and Brian Roberts.
We'll start with Ramirez, who obviously left his bats in New York. He is 0- for-20 dropping his season average to .269. The Cubs third baseman had 17 HR and 66 RBI at the break and is still stuck on those numbers.
Kinsler has not been much better going 1-for-19. The Texas Ranger second baseman had a magnificent first half reaching the All-Star break batting .337 with 84 runs scored, 14 HR, 59 RBI and 24 stolen bases. He's only added one run, one RBI and one SB in five games against Minnesota and the White Sox.
The third All-Star not yet back from break is Berkman, Houston's star first baseman. For the season Berkman is hitting .338 with 81 runs scored, 22 HR, 73 RBI and 15 stolen bases, but over the last week he has managed to go just 3- for-18 without a HR or RBI.
Lee has joined this group with a 3-for-21 "effort" since the break which includes zero home runs and just three RBI.
The final member of this ugly quintet is Roberts, who could certainly have been an All-Star based on his first-half effort. He and Nick Markakis have carried the Baltimore offense all season. For the year Roberts is hitting .287 with 65 runs scored, a league-leading 37 doubles, eight triples, seven HR, 34 RBI and 27 steals. He has been the "perfect" leadoff hitter. But since July 17th Roberts is just 4-for-25, a .160 average. It's possible that trade rumors have effected his game as there are reports that the Cubs have been interested in acquiring the second baseman.
Hopefully, if you have any of these players on your team, they will turn it back around and be the player they were in the first half. But keep an eye on them and if they don't play up to their first-half standards it might be time to trade them while their numbers are still impressive enough to get maximum return.