Will The Beard rebound this season?
Casey Blake had a down year in 2010. Like many Dodgers, he faded greatly after the All-Star break, hitting .234/.298/.383 after the break compared to .259/.339/.427 before the break. He didn't suffer some massive drop on batting average on balls in play (.308 before the break, .301 after). Last year's projections for Blake predicted a downturn in performance, understandable for a 36-year old third baseman. But Blake ended up hitting .248/.320/.407, which ended up far below even his projections.
Sometimes age just takes its toll. Is that the case with Blake? Or did he just have a down year? The Dodgers tried resting Blake more often last year, and will likely do so again this year, though Blake doesn't seem fully on board with that tentative plan, per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA:
"I talked to Donnie a little bit," Blake said. "He told me they have kind of a tentative plan. I guess it's designed to keep me healthy and keep me strong throughout the whole season, but nobody really knows the answer to that. I told him basically that I want to play every day. Hopefully, the first few weeks or the first couple of months will just be kind of trial-and-error, but I don't want a day off just to take a day off. I think there has to be a reason behind it, like maybe if I have been scuffling for a couple of days.
After starting 149 games in 2008 between both Cleveland and Los Angeles, Blake has started 131 and 134 games in the last two years. In 2009 though, 15 of Blake's days off came in the final month of the season, whereas his time off was more spread out in 2010.
Blake has started 321 games at third base as a Dodger, the sixth most in Los Angeles Dodger history. Blake will likely pass two people (he needs only 47 more starts) this season for fourth place. Can you name the current top five?
Blake was a teammate of Braden Looper at Wichita State.
Blake will make $5.25 million in 2011in the final season of a three-year contract. The Dodgers hold a 2012 option on Blake worth $6 million, with a buyout of $1.25 million.
|2011 Projections - Age 37 Season|
The projection systems are even more down on Blake than they were last year. The average seems a little low, so I'll say .265/.338/.429 in 548 PA, and 127 starts at third base.
What is your guess for Casey Blake in 2011? Be sure to guess BA/OBP/SLG, PA, and number of starts at third base (or any other position).