Even though a season can’t be won in the first few months, teams can lose it. Being an enormous number of games behind the leader or having a long losing streak can wreck what would be a great season. 162 games in a season give a bit of leeway for both extremes. However, things can begin to spiral as the season takes shape.
3 Teams That Should Panic
3. New York Yankees
The New York Yankees have been bitten by the injury bug again and are last in the American League East. Even though they are a .500 ball club, they have nothing behind Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Going into the second half of the 2022 season, all of the Yankees’ offense was squarely on the shoulders of those two guys. The Yankees did nothing in the way of adding to the lineup. It might have been overlooked in the offseason it now looks like the issue is rearing its ugly head again.
Starting pitchers and bullpen pitchers are a balance, and when one isn’t in order, the stress on the other can lead to problems. Similar to their offense, pitching is on the elbow of Gerrit Cole. Though Nester Cortez has taken a step forward in the last two years, the injury of Carlos Rodon adds to the woes. Clay Homes, who has a WHIP of 1.42, is high for a relief pitcher.
The division from top to bottom is stacked. Every team could win that division by the same token, and every team could miss the playoffs. The issues of the Yankees can be fixed, but hopefully, they’re not far behind the leader.
2. Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are an absolute mess. From injuries, players underperforming, and players not playing at a complete 100%, it seems as if the White Sox are headed for a season to forget on the northside. Currently, they own a record of 12-24, which is good for fourth in the division and 7.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins. Many MLB pendants picked Chicago to be in contention for the American League Central.
I stated once before the injury issues for the Sox. The young core of this team has been battling injuries for what feels like decades at his point. Eloy Jiménez has only played in over 100 games once in his career, and Luis Robert Jr. has also battled injuries in his young career and has never played in more than 98 games. Tim Anderson, one of the game’s best hitters, has also had trouble staying on the field. Hopefully, the newer crop of talent can fill the spot for the short term, but things need to improve.
Blame for this might fall on the longtime front team members. Kenny Williams, who won a World Series back in 2005. It is now in a spot with some of the guys they’ve drafted who are going to be hitting the market as free agents in the next few seasons. Tim Anderson highlights this list as one of the players who might move on from the south side.
1. St. Louis Cardinals
If anyone had on their bingo card, the St. Louis Cardinals would be the worst in the National League; they’re probably lying. With a record of 12-24, they are nine games out of first place on top of being 2-8 in their last ten games played. Snapping an 8 game losing streak on Sunday.
The replacement of Yadier Molina went to formers Cubs Catcher Wilson Contreras, and a month into his five-year 87.5 million deal, they are moving him from behind the plate. Contreras will be acting as the team’s primary DH going forward. Tres Barrera and Andrew Knizner will split the catching duties going forward. There were people in the Cubs organization who thought he had an issue with calling his own game. The numbers back up this. The Cubs era with Contreras catching was 4.77, whereas it was 3.23 with Yan Gomes catching.
Nolan Arenado has been struggling all season long. Through 34 games this season, he has a line of .232/.282/.608. All of these numbers are way down from his usual numbers for him. Arenado’s first three years in St. Louis were fantastic. Last year, finishing third in MVP voting for the National League, also taking home a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger. What the source of the struggles are, who knows? It might be him having to ramp up the training for the World Baseball Classic, and general struggles as the season progresses.
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