A number of people have asked me of late why it seems that pitchers seem to have the upper hand these days in baseball. I have a 1 word answer STEROIDS. I don't mean the pitchers are juicing either.
We are a couple of seasons north of full scale testing of players in major league baseball and that means that those who were taking Performance Enhancing Drugs are no longer getting any advantage from the supplements.
I want to use Yanks star Alex Rodriguez as the prime example in this. A Rod is an admitted user of PED's. In 2007 ARod hit 54 homers in 583 at bats. That works out to a homer every 11 times he went to the plate. This year Rodriguez has hit just 9 homers in about 220 at bats. That works out to roughly 1 home run in every 24 at bats. Yes Arod is 3 years older but he is certainly still in the prime of his career. It is hard for me to believe that Rodriguez has become half the hitter he was in just 3 years. This will be an interesting trend to follow--not just with ARod--for the next few years. I suspect we'll see a big drop in slugging numbers back to where they were in the late 80's before all the PED's were introduced to baseball.