The season is only one month old. There’s no reason to freak out! Remember, Mike Trout once hit .220 in the first month and a half of his career. Bad months! Most players who have a bad month turn out well.
But… well, it’s Memorial Day soon, and it’s probably time some of these guys started turning their seasons around. So today in the Thirty, we’re looking for a player on each team that needs to get it going. They’ve been successful in the past, and there’s every reason to think they’ll eventually figure it out. But the clock is ticking.
Blue Jays: José Berríos (5.82 ERA)
One of the most exciting things about the Blue Jays’ trade for Berríos last year was that they also signed him this year. It was a sign that they were just getting started. But Berríos has been getting hit so far. Many felt he would be a Cy Young contender this year, but he’s not pitching like one of the best in the rotation himself right now.
Orioles: Trey Mancini (1 HR, .278 AVERAGE)
The Orioles resisted all temptations to trade their fans’ beloved Mancini, who has overcome so much just to get back to where he is now. But they may not be able to change him right now if they wanted to, as much of his power seems to have dissipated at this point.
Rays: Randy Arozarena (1 HR, .223 AVERAGE.)
Arozarena, an explosive Rookie of the Year winner last season, is now 27 years old and thus should technically be entering the prime of his career. But he’s off to a pretty quiet start, with just one home run and plummeting walk rate. This is supposed to be his prime, but so far, he hasn’t.
Red Sox: Trevor Story (1 HR, .206 AVERAGE)
This was not… a difficult choice. Story hasn’t really gotten out of the starting gate, and with the Red Sox currently in last place, it’s only a matter of time until grumpy fans start whispering the words “Jack Clark” as Story steps up to bat.
Yankees: Joey Gallo (.187 AVERAGE, 3 HR)
Gallo felt like such a perfect temperamental fit with the Yankees, and that right-field porch, that one envisioned him as a fixture of that lineup for years to come. (At least against righties). But he’s struggled so far, and those strikeouts just keep piling up.
Guardians: Shane Bieber (4.13 ERA)
Look, he’s had injury problems, and it’s not like he’s been that bad. (You could go with Franmil Reyes here, if you wanted.) But if the Guardians are going to have any hope this year, they need Bieber to be Bieber. And it has largely not been Bieber.
Royals: Salvador Perez (.198/.239/.396 scrimmage)
Perez still has his leadership and defensive prowess, but he’s supposed to be the monster in the middle of this order. Right now, he looks like a player who has caught too many games and is already starting to wear down. Is he getting back on track after a couple of rising seasons?
Tigers: Jonathan Schoop (.152/.195/.232 scrimmage)
We’ll leave Spencer Torkelson and Akil Baddoo alone for now: they are young, after all. But what is Schoop’s excuse? One of the team’s most consistent hitters in recent years has fallen far short of his offensive potential so far in 2022.
Twins: Carlos Correa (2 HR, .255 AVG.)
He’s started to bounce back a bit lately, but considering the way his contract is structured, he doesn’t have much time to get in shape. The way he’s going now … he could still stay in Minnesota next season.
White Sox: Yasmani Grandal (.169 AVG, 1 HR)
You expected someone like Grandal to have a low average but a decent on-base percentage because he walks a lot. But you also think there has to be some power on the way. So far this season, there have hardly been any: He has three extra-base hits in 106 plate appearances.
Angels: Shohei Ohtani (hitting version) (.317 OBP, six home runs)
This is asking too much of Ohtani who, after all, has essentially been an average hitter in this current offensive environment. But Ohtani is not here to be average. This is Ohtani! This Angels lineup has been fantastic so far. Imagine what happens when it really gets going.
Astros: Yuli Gurriel (.198 AVG, 0 HR)
Is this the year age finally catches up with Yuli? She is 37 years old and she has done almost nothing with the bat so far. Some advanced stats believe that she is having bad luck. We will know soon.
A’s: Cristian Pache (.172/.196/.263 slashed line)
Pache has always been considered a defensive stalwart, but the bat has never arrived. However, he has never been that bad. He was acquired in the trade for Matt Olson, so there’s pressure for him to be an important piece for the A’s.
Mariners: Jarred Kelenic (.140/.219/.291 oblique line)
You can forgive Mariners fans for feeling like they were supposed to be through this part with Kelenic. He recovered from his first problems last year. When will he recover from these?
Rangers: Marcus Semien (.165/.228/.217 slash line)
Here’s your reminder that Semien, who turns 32 in September, has finished in the top three of two of the last three AL MVP voting … and is signed through 2028.
Braves: Charlie Morton (5.65 ERA)
He was a little better in his last start, but the Braves still need him to be a linchpin on this staff … no matter how old he is.
Marlins: Jorge Soler (.178/.271/.347 oblique line)
Want a warning about the potential dangers of falling for a guy’s postseason performance? Soler was a star last October for the Braves, but he, like most of the Marlins’ roster right now, is having trouble putting the bat on the ball.
Mets: Adam Ottavino (5.91 ERA)
It’s a sign of how good the vibes are with the Mets right now that their most disappointing player is a middle reliever who has only pitched 10 2/3 innings.
Nationals: Nelson Cruz (.174/.266/.284 slash line)
Part of the Nationals’ calculation in signing Cruz surely was to make him a contender at the Trade Deadline if they were out of contention. Right now, he hasn’t accumulated much business value.
Phillies: Rhys Hoskins (.222 AVG, 5 HR)
Of all the boppers in this lineup, Hoskins has had the most trouble getting going, though he almost seems like a defensive stalwart compared to the Phillies’ outfield currently without Bryce Harper.
Brewers: Brandon Woodruff (5.97 ERA)
Woodruff’s peripherals are looking a lot better than his ERA, so you should probably expect him to bounce back quickly. And that’s all the Brewers need, another pitcher knocking everyone down.
Cardinals: Tyler O’Neill (.198 AVG, 2 HR)
O’Neill won his second Gold Glove last year and was a stealthy MVP candidate heading into this season. But he strikes out too much and has trouble making hard contact, which, considering his physique, seems hard to believe.
Cubs: Nick Madrigal (.203/.250/.241 cut line)
Madrigal felt like the perfect fit on the North Side, the kind of guy who would torment the White Sox for trading him for years. But he’s not hitting the ball with authority so far, and true to form, he’s not walking either.
Pirates: Mitch Keller (0-4, 6.11 ERA)
There was all sorts of talk this offseason that Keller, once a top prospect, had figured something out, that this would be his breakout year. That break hasn’t happened yet.
Reds: Joey Votto (.122 AVG, 0 HR)
Of a team full of disappointments, it is unfortunately Votto who has fallen the lowest. However, he will turn it around. This is Joey Votto… right?
D-backs: Carson Kelly (.105/.150/.123 cut line)
Kelly once looked like an All-Star candidate. He now he looks like one of the worst hitters in the league. But Kelly is on the disabled list right now and hopefully the time off the field will help him recover when he returns.
Dodgers: Justin Turner (.194/.252/.291 cut line)
It’s nice to be the Dodgers and to be able to absorb a franchise linchpin being so unproductive to start the season … but it’s still weird to see Turner struggling like this.
Giants: Joey Bart (.167 AVERAGE)
He’s walking and homering enough to stay useful, but Bart isn’t making anyone forget about Buster Posey.
Parents: Trent Grisham (.144/.264/.231 cut line)
Grisham once looked like an outright steal for the Brewers. Now, the Padres probably just wish they had Eric Lauer back.
Rockies: German Marquez (0-3. 6.47 ERA)
For years, the Rockies have avoided trading Marquez to a team with a friendlier pitching environment. The way he’s behaving right now, one has to wonder if they missed the window.