Don't panic in April

Alexei Ramirez is hitless through his first 13 at-bats.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Ok, things might not be starting out the way you drew it up in your strategy session, but that doesn't mean it's time to panic. Trading or cutting players one series into the season is too premature.

But it is acceptable to worry, particularly if your guy is known for getting off to fast starts. On the other hand, if you have Ryan Howard, you should not be worried at all, because we have seen this before. The Phillies first baseman is a career .254 batter before the All-Star break and a .302 hitter after. His batting average is .231 for March/April, .251 in May, .264 in June, .299 in July, .283 in August and .317 in September/October.

Prince Fielder is another player off to a slow start, but he didn't start quickly in 2008 either and still ended up with 34 HRs and 102 RBIs.

There are a few younger guys on the list who might be more of a concern, because we don't have a "track record" to fall back on for security.

Alexei Ramirez, shortstop for the Chicago White Sox, is hitless so far this season. That's pretty ugly for a player who batted a solid .290 last year and hit 21 HRs while knocking in 77 RBIs. He was picked pretty high in most drafts (Average Draft Position - 47) because his move to shortstop made his power a valuable commodity. but 13 at-bats is a small sample size and the .000 batting average won't last for long. Still, with just one year of data to rely on, it's disconcerting to say the least.

Cameron Maybin, the Florida Marlins outfielder, is expected to compete for the 2009 Rookie of the Year, but he's not starting out in a promising fashion. or Jay Bruce who blasted onto the scene in 2008 by hitting .579 in the month of May (his first two weeks in the big leagues).

As always, remember, it's a marathon not a sprint.

Early Season Bottom Feeders

Player SLG AB R HR RBI SB AVE
Nate McLouth 0.278 14 1 1 2 0 0.171
Jay Bruce 0.250 12 2 0 1 0 0.167
Ryan Howard 0.250 16 2 0 1 0 0.188
Cameron Maybin 0.231 13 2 0 0 1 0.154
Prince Fielder 0.214 14 0 0 1 0 0.143
Russell Martin 0.188 16 2 0 1 0 0.125
Derrek Lee 0.176 17 1 0 2 0 0.118
David Ortiz 0.167 12 1 0 1 0 0.167
Jimmy Rollins 0.111 18 1 0 1 0 0.111
Alexei Ramirez 0.000 13 1 0 0 0 0.000


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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