Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder is on pace to hit .261 with 23 home runs in 2013. That would be seven less home runs and a ridiculous 52 points lower on his batting average from 2012. He is also looking at a 60-point drop in his on-base percentage. If you have watched Fielder on any type of consistent basis, it’s obvious that he doesn’t seem right in the box.
It isn’t his attitude. It isn’t his work ethic. And it definitely isn’t the lack of hitters around him. So what is it?
On the “Ryan and Rico Show” on the new Detroit Sports 105.1 FM, teammate Torii Hunter hinted that Fielder may be feeling the effects of off-field issues.
“Prince is a strong guy. A lot of people don’t know what’s going on in his life. This guy is a strong guy. He’s out there every day. He won’t come out of the lineup, no matter what’s going on off the field or on the field. He’s a strong guy. Us as players, we know what’s really going on and we appreciate him going out there every day.”
Hunter went on to say that fans should back off Fielder regarding these “issues.”
Here is the Hunter audio:
Fielder was told that Hunter’s comments had sparked a story throughout the day. His reply: “Yeah? Well I’m gonna turn the story off. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.”
So naturally, we are left to guess what’s going on. There were nasty rumors that Fielder’s wife was allegedly waiting for him to sign a huge contract (which he did – nine years for $214 million before last season) before filing for divorce. Whether that’s true or not is probably none of our business, but you can see how something like that would affect at guy at work.
Hopefully for Prince it isn’t a health issue with any family members or friends.
Until Fielder gets over his issues, Miguel Cabrera is providing more than enough compensation (hitting .455 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in August coming into Tuesday’s game.
[Detroit Free Press]