Ryan Howard, Placido Polanco, Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley would finish with their worst single-season performance as everyday players if the 2011 campaign ended today.
Lots of talk today about Shane Victorino's bid for league MVP based on an extremely consistent .308/.381/.544 campaign and a 6.2 WAR, which puts him right in the mix among other contenders like Joey Votto and Matt Kemp. Vic is one of three Phillies hitters, in my estimation, who've exceeded expectations, including Hunter Pence, who had an All-Star half year in Houston before coming to the Phillies and hitting .326/.400/.526, and John Mayberry Jr., who's had an amazing month and is hitting .262/.326/.517 with 12 homers in 224 plate appearances.
Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz and, for the sake of argument, Wilson Valdez, have been par for the course. If J-Roll can return healthy and light it up in September, he has a chance to have a better season than in 2008 (right now his OPS+ of 103 is the same as '08). Chooch isn't as good as he was last season, which will likely become his career year, but he's having another above-average season with the stick. Valdez, thanks to this recent surge, is mirroring his 2010 supersub effort.
This will be Ryan Howard's worst season if he can't finish with his trademark run in September. He's hitting .249/.338/.477 with a lot of strikeouts lately and only 18 hits this month. His .815 OPS is .112 under his career average.
Ibanez, meanwhile, made a lousy season respectable in 2010 by finishing strong and ending with a .275/.349/.444 (111 OPS+), which fit nicely with his previous 10 seasons. He'll need an insane finish to do this same in '11; he's hitting a paltry .238/.285/.410 (87 OPS+).
Polanco had arguably his worst game as a Phillie Monday night and was the culmination of about two months of poor performance. Since July 1, he's hitting just .230/.299/.230 with no extra base hits and only one extra base hit, a double, since June 16. The veteran third baseman is dealing with myriad ailments and it's really starting to show.
Utley, frankly, has become something of a middling power threat these last few seasons and has been largely invisible this month, hitting .258/.327/.371 with one homer. If he can't pull his numbers up in September, we're looking at four-straight seasons of declining production.