2011 Dodgers Player Profile: Casey Blake, A Rebound For Beard?

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.

Trivia

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.

Contract Status

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.

Stats

Year Age PA HR Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA
2008 34 601 21 71 81 .274 .345 .463 .347
2009 35 565 18 84 79 .280 .363 .468 .351
2010 36 571 17 56 64 .248 .320 .407 .317
2011 Projections - Age 37 Season



Year PA HR Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA
Bill James 562 17 66 66 .249 .326 .407 .320
Marcel 542 16 62 64 .254 .326 .416 .322
ZiPS 507 15 58 64 .247 .317 .407

2011 Outlook

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). 

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