Dioner Navarro is feeling the heat. A year after being an all star, Navarro is making a legitimate case for being the worst player in baseball. Navi is hitting .214/.244/.321 with just seven walks in 252 plate appearances. His plate discipline is a complete mess as R.J. illustrated and his O-Swing of 26.5% is a career high. However, over the last 30 days the Rays have had bigger offensive problems than Dioner Navarro.
Pat Burrell has been in a season long slump. Of course, there was a neck injury that sidelined him for a month, however, neck injury or not, .222/.335/.305 is not getting it done. Burrell is approaching 200 plate appearances and has a combined eight extra base hits. B.J. Upton has seven XBH in the last 12 games. I'm not calling Pat the Bat, Pat the Bust, but clearly his production is not what any of us imagined. Over the last 30 days, Burrell is hitting .167/.310/.288. Dioner Navarro is actually been better over the last month hitting .227/.263/.360. Both are poor and both are everyday players.
A while ago, I wrote about Evan Longoria's mini slump. That mini slump has turned into a bonafide month long slump and we might have the hamstring injury to blame. In the 26 games since his return to the lineup, Longoria's batting average of .214 is actually lower than Navarro's over the same span. His overall line since the injury is .214/.316/.381. Longoria's BABIP over the past month is .254 so it's not completely all bad luck. Since tweaking the hammy on 6/2/09, his K% is up over 26% and he's swinging at 28% of pitches outside the zone. Luckily, Longoria's defense has remained solid despite the injury. I know the fans voted Longo #1 in the home run derby, but it's probably best if he skipped the even which he has already hinted at.
Getting Longoria healthy should fix his problems. Even with the recent slump, his OPS is .914 on the season. The injury is more of a concern than the production to me. We've seen this type of season before from Dioner Navarro. That's not an excuse, but with the available options, there isn't much room to make a deal. I'd like to see John Jaso get a shot, but obviously the Rays organization knows something more about his defense than we do. Burrell may be the most confusing of all. We all knew we were getting a streaking player, however I didn't expect the streak to go from bad to worse. Is it time to free Willy?
The Rays are facing another July swoon, hopefully they can duplicate the success after the all star break that they did a season ago. To do that, all three players mentioned above are going to need to pick up the slack. The time is NOW.