Got a massive mailbag for you this week. I dunno, I just couldn’t stop once I got going. Blame yesterday’s day off. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us stuff, mailbag questions or otherwise.
Nathan asks: What’s up with A-Rod and the lack of power? Is he not fully healthy, losing bat speed, or just getting old?
This came in before Alex Rodriguez hit those two homers on Wednesday night, somewhat obviously. Anyway, I think it’s all of the above. He’s going to turn 37 next month and not many players maintain 30+ homerun power into their late-30s. Only 34 players age 36 or older hitt 30+ dingers in a single season (49 total instances), and the vast majority of them took place during the offense-crazy late-1990s/early-2000s. The power decline has been a gradual thing for Alex, look at his ISO through the years…
That looks an awful lot like normal age-related decline. That monster 2007 season (.331 ISO) came at age 31, right at the end of his prime years. On top of getting old, he also had the torn labrum in his hip. Players need their lower halves to generate power and Alex’s was compromised a bit. Lots of people will blame the past PED usage and hey, they might be right, but I don’t think there’s anything that unusual about a player on the wrong side of 35 losing his power, even a historically great player like A-Rod.