Framber Valdez’s Second Half Struggles Raise Questions for the Future
After a strong start to the season, Framber Valdez’s performance took a nosedive in the second half, leaving fans and analysts wondering what went wrong.
A Tale of Two Halves
Valdez entered the All-Star break as a top contender for the AL Cy Young award. His dominant pitching had positioned him as a potential starter for the All-Star Game. However, the decision to rest Valdez during the break seemed to disrupt his rhythm.
In the first half of the season, Valdez boasted an impressive 2.51 ERA. But in the second half, his ERA skyrocketed to 4.66. This significant decline in performance raised concerns among fans and experts alike.
Several factors could have contributed to Valdez’s struggles. One potential culprit is the introduction of the pitch clock, which may have affected his timing and delivery on the mound.
Another factor to consider is Valdez’s battery mate, who is widely regarded as the worst defensive catcher in the MLB. The catcher’s inability to effectively handle Valdez’s pitches could have impacted his overall performance.
Furthermore, Valdez’s decision to increase his velocity may have inadvertently diminished the effectiveness of his signature sinker. This adjustment could have thrown off his command and resulted in more hittable pitches.
It is likely that the combination of these factors played a role in Valdez’s second-half struggles.
A Promising Future
Despite his disappointing second half, Valdez remains a talented pitcher with a track record of success. His dominant performances in the 2022 postseason and his top-five finish in Cy Young voting that year are testament to his abilities.
Valdez’s durability and work ethic have also been commendable, as he has shouldered a heavy workload over the past three seasons. The upcoming off-season provides an opportunity for him to rest and reset, potentially setting the stage for a strong comeback.
Looking ahead, Valdez’s contract extension and potential free agency loom on the horizon. Fans can hope to see the return of the first-half Valdez in 2024, where he has proven to be one of the best pitchers in the game.
When Valdez is in top form, there are very few pitchers who can match his skill and dominance on the mound. His ability to consistently perform at a high level makes him a valuable asset to any team.