Sometimes the best of expectations don't come to fruition. These 25 players would like to turn back the clock on the poor first half of their 2023 MLB season.
Abreu appeared to be a safe free agent signing despite his age, posting an OPS no worse than .798 in his first nine MLB seasons with the White Sox. While it should be noted Abreu has been a streaky hitter during his career, he's been a dud for the Astros in the first half after signing a three-year, $58.5 million contract. The 36-year-old was hitting .225-4-33 with an awful .587 OPS through 72 games played.
The reigning NL Cy Young winner, Alcantara, has an ERA above 5.00 through 15 starts. The good news is that his elite velocity remains intact, and the ERA metrics indicate a rebound is coming. The Marlins have also been able to remain in the NL Wild Card race despite his struggles.
After some hype during Spring Training, Anderson's first half couldn't be much worse. He's missed time to injury and has yet to hit a home run through late June. The two-time All-Star could be a free agent after this season, and the plunging White Sox might be best served to trade him.
The Tigers hoped Baez's first season in Detroit was a fluke, but that doesn't look to be the case. Now in the second year of a six-year, $140 million contract, Baez's .623 OPS through 70 games is even worse than last season. Baez has cut down on his strikeouts, but that's the only good news.
Cleveland rarely spends big in free agency, so Bell's struggles this season are particularly discouraging. The first baseman struggled down the stretch in San Diego last season and has continued to falter, hitting only .229-7-32 through 68 games. His struggles are reminiscent of the rest of Cleveland's lineup.
Burnes seemed disheartened by his arbitration hearing with the Brewers during Spring Training, and his early season hasn't lived up to his standards. While still treading water, Burnes has an uncharacteristic ERA near 4.00 over his first 15 starts. That's a far cry from the pitcher we saw over the last three seasons, with an ERA below 3.00 in each of those campaigns.
Buxton's case is particularly curious. He has yet to play the outfield this season for reasons that haven't been completely explained by team brass, and his bat has been inconsistent as the Twins DH. He's hit only .210-13-27 with a .758 OPS in 59 games played, still missing some time to the injury hub.
The oft-injured Chisholm all but guaranteed he'd have a healthier season on social media earlier this year, but actions speak louder than words. He's missed most of the first half due a lower body injury, and was hitting .229-7-16 with a sub-.700 OPS prior to getting hurt.
San Diego shifted Cronenworth over to first base full-time after signing Xander Bogaerts, with the hope his bat would support the move. That hasn't happened, as Cronenworth has hit only .216-7-26 with a .677 OPS in 75 games for the Padres. The lack of depth in the Padres offense, including Cronenworth, is one reason the team has struggled.
It's difficult to see how the Contreras signing could be worse for the Cardinals over the first few months. Now in the first season of a five-year deal as Yadier Molina's replacement, Contreras was briefly shifted away from catcher due to discord with the team's pitching staff, and those struggles have carried over to the batter's box. Contreras has hit only .207-8-31 with a .662 OPS in 68 games.
Awarded a huge seven-year extension before this season, Gimenez hasn't lived up to the hype yet. After a breakout 2022 season, Gimenez is hitting only .241-5-36 with a .675 OPS in 71 games. His outstanding defense has held up, fortunately.
Kirk remains a highly disciplined hitter, but the results haven't shown up on the field like they did last season. He hit only .253-3-21 with a .668 OPS before going on the IL with a hand injury in mid-June.
LeMahieu continues to struggle at the plate since winning the Batting Title in 2020, but this year has been a new low. He's hit only .228-7-23 with a .669 OPS in 63 games as the Yankees try to muster offense beyond Aaron Judge.
Few pitchers have had a more befuddling start to their season than Lynn. He's among the league leaders in strikeouts after fanning 16 batters in one start in mid-June, but Lynn's ERA is a terrible 6.51 through 15 starts. The pending free agent could be on the trading block as the White Sox flounder.
Machado signed an extension with the Padres in Spring Training, but his bat is off to a slow start. He's hit .253-9-33 with a .710 OPS through 60 games played, also missing time with a hand injury.
Manoah finished third in the AL Cy Young voting last season, but he's been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season. He had a 6.36 ERA in 13 starts before getting demoted to the minors. Manoah also leads the league with 42 walks in 58 innings.
Giving a four-year deal to a hitter in his mid-30s is always risky, as the Mets are finding out with Marte this season. He's struggled at the plate, hitting only .254-3-22 with a .634 OPS in 69 games. Marte continues to run well, but that's not a great consolation for a player making over $20 million per season.
Few players in baseball are more frustrating than O'Neill, who has five-tool ability but continues to struggle with injuries. He's played only 29 games due to a back injury and struggled when he did play, hitting .228-2-6 with a .620 OPS. His time in St. Louis could be ending, with the team having significant outfield depth.
The most hyped pitching prospect in baseball coming into this season, Rodriguez didn't pitch well enough in Spring Training to win a rotation spot with Baltimore. When he did finally arrive, Rodriguez struggled with a 7.35 ERA in 10 starts due in large part to poor command. Rodriguez does continue to dominate minor league hitters since his demotion, so it's unlikely we've seen the last of him this season.
The Marlins signed Segura to a two-year, $17 million contract before this season, but would probably like a do-over. The veteran has been one of baseball's worst players, hitting just .190-1-11 with a .493 OPS in 60 games.
The oft-injured Severino has both missed time to injury and struggled when he's pitched. The hard-throwing right-hander has been unable to keep the ball down, allowing eight home runs over his first 30 innings. The Yankees have Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes on the comeback trail, but desperately need Severino to random in tandem.
Sandoval was one of the Angels top starters over the last two seasons, and the team hoped he would continue to pitch at the level of a No. 1 starter in 2023. He's progressed lately, but command has been a problem for Sandoval with a 1.90 K/BB ratio contributing to his mediocre 4.16 ERA. The Angels remain in the thick of the playoff race but need more from their left-hander.
Singer was Kansas City's ace last season, but his rotation spot is hanging by a thread this year. The former first-round pick had a 6.34 ERA in 15 starts, struggling with his command while his velocity has been down significantly.
The expectations couldn't be higher for Turner, fresh off signing an 11-year, $300 million contract in Philly. He shined for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, but the bat hasn't carried over to the first half of the regular season. The two-time All-Star is hitting only .244-7-24 with a .675 OPS.
Traded from Milwaukee to Seattle in the offseason, Wong has been marred in a terrible slump. The second baseman has hit only .169-1-11 with a .472 OPS, losing playing time in the process. His roster spot could be in jeopardy if the struggles continue.