Over two months ago Alyson Footer wrote and article titled “Healthy diet now a staple of ballplayers’ regimen” at MLB.com. I finally got to reading it and couple quotes really stood out.
For the most part, the players are on board with the fried-free meal plan, especially as the summer months continue and a contending team’s endurance is tested in August and September.
“If you can save a percent here or a percent there in a season on your body and keep the muscle you worked hard to gain in the offseason … they add up to 15 or 20 percent in September,” [Chad] Tracy said. “You’re coming down the stretch, maybe 20 percent stronger than maybe the guy who isn’t.”
While most of the general population that eats healthy does so as to not put on weight, professional athletes are different. They have to maintain certain eating habits so they don’t lose too much weight, an issue that can become a problem for a lot of them as the season wears on. Not enough of the right foods just exacerbates the issue.
“Their pants are starting to fall off of them, and they’re wondering what they can do to try to keep some of that weight on,” Tracy said. “The biggest thing is eating and eating the right stuff.”
A sub-standard diet may explain why some players are just first half players. Take Jason Kipnis. I have no idea what Kipnis eats or doesn’t eat. I really just want to use his first and half splits from the past two seasons as an example. I know is production drops off in the second half, especially his power over the past two season.
First Half: .143 ISO, 114 wRC+
Second Half: .095, 86 wRC+
First Half: .213 ISO, 150 wRC+
Second Half: .110 ISO, 102 wRC+
He could be do a great job of working out during the off-season, but he could take is health less seriously once the season starts. I think it is important for players to take care of themselves if they want to play an entire season.