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Rating MLB’s 10 Largest Disappointments so Far in 2024

Kerry Miller @@kerrancejames Featured Columnist IV June 3, 2024 Ranking MLB’s 10 Biggest Disappointments so Far in 2024 0 of 10 Houston’s José Abreu Logan Riely/Getty Images Through a little more than two months of action, the 2024 Major League Baseball regular season has been chock full of developments that no one saw coming. Some

Rating MLB’s 10 Largest Disappointments so Far in 2024

Kerry Miller@@kerrancejamesX.com LogoFeatured Columnist IVJune 3, 2024

Rating MLB’s 10 Largest Disappointments so Far in 2024

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    Houston's José Abreu

    Houston’s José AbreuLogan Riely/Getty Photos

    By a little bit greater than two months of motion, the 2024 Main League Baseball common season has been chock stuffed with developments that nobody noticed coming.

    A few of these are nice surprises, whereas others…not a lot.

    In our rating of the season’s largest disappointments so far, preseason expectation is vital info. As an illustration, the Chicago White Sox are an abject catastrophe, at present on tempo for what can be a modern-day report of 121 losses. Nonetheless, preseason win complete traces had them projected for 100 losses, so what’s one other 20?

    As a substitute of specializing in the White Sox or the supposed-to-be-equally-bad Colorado Rockies, the disappointing groups on this record are ones that at the least had a playoff pulse to start the season.

    Equally, gamers chosen aren’t essentially the least productive, however the ones who’ve fallen furthest shy of what we thought they might do.

    “Honorable” Mentions: Julio Rodríguez, Spencer Torkelson, Kyle Hendricks, Jorge Soler, Paul Goldschmidt, Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels

10. Vaughn Grissom, Boston Crimson Sox

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    Boston's Vaughn Grissom

    Boston’s Vaughn GrissomMark Goldman/Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photos

    2024 Stats: .148/.207/.160, 0 HR, 3 RBI, -0.7 bWAR

    2023 Stats: .280/.313/.347, 0 HR, 9 RBI, -0.7 bWAR

    For essentially the most half, the person gamers on this record are established stars who simply have not had it so far in 2024.

    That is not the case with Vaughn Grissom, who barely noticed big-league motion final season and has not but amounted to a lot within the majors exterior of a powerful first 4 weeks of his profession in 2022.

    There’s nonetheless a two-pronged, main disappointment in play right here.

    The primary prong is that Grissom has constantly thrived within the minors. He hit .319 in 2021 and solely bought higher from there, hitting .324 in 2022, .330 final 12 months and .333 within the 9 video games he spent in Worcester this spring. Over the course of his 5 seasons within the minors, Grissom posted an .883 OPS, working at a 162-game tempo of roughly 15 residence runs and 30 stolen bases.

    He is nonetheless solely 23 years previous, however when is that middle-infield phenom going to seek out his strategy to the majors once more?

    The second, way more painful prong, although, is the truth that Boston gave Atlanta Chris Sale and $17 million this previous offseason to accumulate Grissom. And whereas Grissom is struggling to get hits, Sale has been some of the vital items protecting Atlanta afloat.

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    The Crimson Sox had been going to lose the oft-injured Sale to free company this offseason and proactively grabbed a budding star who might be underneath staff management by 2029. It is believable that it will find yourself wanting like a wise transfer a couple of years down the road.

    Proper now, although?

    Ouch.

9. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

    Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Justin Casterline/Getty Photos

    File: 27-30

    Preseason Win Whole: 86.5

    Dealing with the White Sox was precisely what the physician ordered for the floundering Blue Jays, successful 5 out of six video games in opposition to the worst staff in baseball within the span of 10 days.

    Can they carry that momentum by what will be a hellacious stretch of video games for the subsequent month, although?

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    As a result of in opposition to authentic competitors, Toronto has been a multitude, unable to attain runs at anyplace close to the extent that it ought to.

    Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wakened on the plate in Could, batting practically .400, albeit with solely two residence runs. Bo Bichette additionally sprang to life with 9 multi-hit performances within the span of 18 video games.

    But it surely hasn’t been sufficient; even with Isiah Kiner-Falefa at present boasting an OPS of .700 or higher for what can be the primary time in his profession.

    There are simply too many straightforward outs within the lineup, which has paired disastrously with each a bullpen that ranks among the many worst within the majors and Chris Bassitt and Kevin Gausman every underachieving his strategy to an ERA north of 4.00.

    If the upcoming schedule—17 of the subsequent 26 video games in opposition to groups comfortably within the playoff image—buries them even deeper within the standings, the commerce deadline fireplace sale might be fairly the spectacle.

8. Randy Arozarena, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Tampa Bay's Randy Arozarena

    Tampa Bay’s Randy ArozarenaMike Carlson/MLB Pictures by way of Getty Photos

    2024 Stats: .160/.260/.311, 8 HR, 19 RBI, 7 SB, -0.7 bWAR

    2023 Stats: .254/.364/.425, 23 HR, 83 RBI, 22 SB, 3.5 bWAR

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    Through the winter conferences this previous December, there was speak of Randy Arozarena probably getting traded to Seattle in what would have been a large blockbuster.

    The way in which he is hitting so far in 2024, although, the Mariners most likely really feel like they dodged a bullet by not going all-in for the 2021 AL Rookie of the Yr.

    Arozarena entered this season as one among simply three gamers within the majors on a streak of three consecutive seasons with at the least 20 residence runs and 20 stolen bases. The others had been Trea Turner and José Ramírez.

    To Arozarena’s credit score, he’s roughly on tempo to increase that streak to a fourth season, working at a 162-game tempo of twenty-two.0 HR and 19.2 SB.

    He simply may achieve this by the pores and skin of his tooth and with the worst batting common in baseball.

    The 2023 All-Star had a profession batting common of .265 and a profession on-base share of .351 two months in the past. Nonetheless, BABIP has defied him to a preposterous diploma. He completed every of the earlier three seasons with a BABIP of .310 or higher, however he entered play Friday with a mark of .191 that ranked dead last amongst certified hitters.

    To some extent, that is simply horrible luck. But it surely’s additionally a product of merely not making good contact and a launch angle that is all out of whack. Arozarena’s line-drive rate (11.5 %) is method down from his profession norms, whereas his fly-ball charge (45.3 %) is thru the roof.

    It isn’t the breaking stuff, both. He simply can not hit fastballs this 12 months.

    Per Baseball Savant, Arozarena entered 2024 batting .296 and slugging .526 on at-bats that ended on fastballs. These marks are at .139 and .287 this season.

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    So, sure, his BABIP is .191, however his anticipated batting common is not significantly better at .195. Issues have been tough, and they won’t be getting higher.

7. Miami Marlins

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    Miami's Tim Anderson

    Miami’s Tim AndersonMegan Briggs/Getty Photos

    File: 21-38

    Preseason Win Whole: 77.5

    With a preseason win complete that put their anticipated win share under .500, let’s be clear that the Marlins weren’t precisely anticipated to be a World Sequence contender.

    They had been purported to win a strong 15-20 extra video games than the actually horrible groups, although.

    As a substitute, they’ve grow to be one of many largest dumpster fires of all.

    They already traded away two-time batting champ Luis Arráez a month in the past, which has left this offense in a close to fixed state of struggling to string something collectively.

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    Miami did rating 17 runs out of nowhere in its closing two video games of Could, however solely after scoring 10 runs in its earlier six video games mixed. And even after that outburst, they’re nonetheless averaging fewer runs per sport than each staff apart from the White Sox.

    The most important disappointment on offense has been the $5 million flier they took on Tim Anderson. The Marlins had been hoping his atrocious 2023 marketing campaign was a blip after 4 consecutive seasons batting north of .300, however he has as an alternative gotten even worse.

    So far as the pitching goes, Ryan Weathers has been a nice shock, and Tanner Scott has someway been a dependable nearer regardless of averaging seven walks per 9 innings pitched. But it surely will get ugly in a rush from there, highlighted by the failed try and convert A.J. Puk from a more in-depth to a starter.

    There may be one different vivid spot, as Jesús Luzardo has pitched fairly nicely since getting out to a brutal begin to the season. Nonetheless, it’s sounding like it’ll solely be a matter of time earlier than he joins Arráez on the record of gamers who the Marlins traded away. (Scott can also be nearly as good as gone, as he’s an impending free agent.)

6. Blake Snell, San Francisco Giants

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    San Francisco's Blake Snell

    San Francisco’s Blake SnellJoe Sargent/Getty Photos

    2024 Stats: 19.0 IP, 10.42 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 11.4 Okay/9, -1.0 bWAR

    2023 Stats: 180.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 11.7 Okay/9, 6.2 bWAR

    Blake Snell bought a late begin to the 12 months after ready till halfway by spring coaching to signal as a free agent. Then, after making three disappointing begins, he spent a month on the IL with an adductor pressure.

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    So, sure, it is a small pattern measurement.

    Nonetheless, what a colossal fall from grace from the two-time Cy Younger recipient.

    In every of Snell’s 5 begins in 2024, he has allowed at the least one run per inning pitched.

    He made simply two such appearances in the complete 2023 season.

    Although his Okay/9 continues to be wanting fairly good, his whiff rate on the non-fastballs is method down from the place it had been the earlier two seasons.

    • 2022 Whiff Charges: changeup 45.7%, slider 46.4%, curveball 43.1%
    • 2023 Whiff Charges: changeup 46.8%, slider 53.6%, curveball 56.3%
    • 2024 Whiff Charges: changeup 29.3%, slider 36.7%, curveball 36.7%

    Once more, small pattern measurement. Josh Hader had a equally baffling run two summers in the past earlier than bouncing again to his normal dominance. And thru 9 begins final season, Snell had a 5.40 ERA and was considered as one of many largest causes the Padres had been underachieving.

    Possibly he figures issues out once more this June.

    So far, although, he simply is not producing swings and misses like we’re used to seeing.

5. Texas Rangers

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    Texas' Evan Carter

    Texas’ Evan CarterLachlan Cunningham/Getty Photos

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    File: 28-30

    Preseason Win Whole: 88.5

    At simply two video games under .500, the Texas Rangers are hardly a misplaced trigger. One good week and they’re proper again within the thick of each the AL West and the wild-card races. And we knew lengthy earlier than Opening Day that they had been designed to be higher within the second half of the season than the primary, as soon as they bought Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tyler Mahle again on the mound.

    What the Rangers hadn’t deliberate for, nonetheless, was the offense taking a major step backward as an entire whereas a bunch of key gamers joined deGrom, Scherzer and Mahle on the IL.

    Josh Jung began out on fireplace, however lasted simply 4 video games earlier than breaking his wrist.

    Among the many 15 Rangers who’ve made at the least 20 plate appearances this season, the one one with an OPS of .800 or higher is Corey Seager—and he solely just lately caught fireplace, ending play on Could 5 with a .594 OPS earlier than mashing all the pieces for 4 weeks.

    Preseason AL Rookie of the Yr co-favorites Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford have each been underwhelming in between their IL stints.

    The one beginning pitcher who was on the Opening Day roster who hasn’t hung out on the IL is Andrew Heaney, and he is having the worst 12 months of the bunch with a 4.47 ERA and 1.37 WHIP.

    Issues simply have not gone based on plan, and it is frankly a bit miraculous the Rangers are treading water in addition to they’ve been.

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    All the identical, it is bizarre and disappointing to see the reigning champs sitting under .500 practically 60 video games into the marketing campaign.

4. Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Arizona's Corbin Carroll

    Arizona’s Corbin CarrollJim McIsaac/Getty Photos

    2024 Stats: .197/.280/.289, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 9 SB, 0.0 bWAR

    2023 Stats: .285/.362/.506, 25 HR, 76 RBI, 54 SB, 5.4 bWAR

    We wrote yesterday about the way it appears to be like like Corbin Carroll is possibly, type of, type of beginning to come to life. After posting a woeful .527 OPS by his first 43 video games performed, he had a .734 mark over his closing 12 video games of Could, getting 4 triples and his first three-game hit of the season.

    Nonetheless, even that stretch of improved play is a far cry from how spectacular he was in successful 2023 NL Rookie of the Yr.

    This most likely goes with out saying for a man who has gone from averaging one residence run in each 26 journeys to the plate to at least one averaging one residence run in each 122 journeys to the plate, however Carroll simply is not hitting the ball as onerous.

    His average exit velocity has dropped from 90 MPH to 87.1 MPH, and his hard-hit share has plummeted from 40.9 % to 33.1 %.

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    Carroll continues to be seeing the ball nicely. He is really strolling a bit greater than he did final 12 months, and his contact charge when he does swing is a tick up from 80.5 % to 81.0 %.

    It simply hasn’t been the identical type of contact, whatever the pitch sort.

    This has led to speculations that it might be points with the shoulder that was surgically repaired in 2021 and re-injured final summer time. (Arizona has made no indications that the shoulder is an issue, and he has continued to play on a virtually on a regular basis foundation.)

    Carroll is much from the one disappointment for an Arizona staff at present six video games under .500. Eduardo Rodriguez has but to pitch. Jordan Montgomery has but to pitch nicely. Each Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen are at present on the IL. And Eugenio Suárez hasn’t been the slugger at third base the Diamondbacks hoped they had been getting.

    But it surely’s Carroll’s poor begin that has gotten a lot of the consideration.

3. New York Mets

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    New York's Pete Alonso

    New York’s Pete AlonsoLuke Hales/Getty Photos

    File: 24-34

    Preseason Win Whole: 81.5

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    For the second consecutive 12 months, the New York Mets put collectively the most important Opening Day payroll, solely to perform diddly squat with it.

    Whereas it is true that the expectations for this 12 months’s staff had been a far cry from what they had been heading into 2023, we’re nonetheless speaking about $300 million right here.

    Sure, practically 1 / 4 of that complete is retained/deferred cash for the likes of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Bobby Bonilla that was by no means going to assist this season.

    Nonetheless, there are 12 present Mets with eight-figure salaries, and so they’ve received the identical variety of video games as an Oakland staff with nary a participant making $10M.

    Kodai Senga has but to pitch in 2024. Edwin Díaz just lately joined him on the IL. Brett Baty simply bought despatched again all the way down to Triple-A. Each hitter with at the least 60 plate appearances has an OPS under .800. Each pitcher with at the least 20 innings pitched has an ERA north of three.00. And the physique language just about all through the roster has been abysmal.

    Even retiring Darryl Strawberry’s quantity Saturday wasn’t sufficient to spark some give a darn within the Mets, as they proceeded to permit 10 runs in a loss to the Diamondbacks.

    At this level, it appears to only be a query of the place impending free agent Pete Alonso will get traded this summer time, and what number of different expiring property comply with him out the door.

2. Atlanta’s Stars of Yesteryear

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    Atlanta's Matt Olson

    Atlanta’s Matt OlsonMichael Reaves/Getty Photos

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    Atlanta bought contributions from everywhere in the roster en path to its MLB-leading 104 regular-season wins in 2023, however there have been eight predominant points of interest: NL MVP Ronald Acuña Jr., MLB home-run chief Matt Olson and the gathering of Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Sean Murphy, Marcell Ozuna, Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider.

    Each on FanGraphs and Baseball Reference, these had been the eight staff leaders in wins above alternative; the celebs who carried them by a ridiculously potent offensive season and the ace who received 20 video games whereas placing out all the pieces in his path.

    Save for Ozuna making an attempt to hold the offense by his lonesome, although, these stars have been nonexistent in 2024.

    Strider suffered a season-ending UCL harm after simply two appearances. Acuña wasn’t hitting like his normal self for 2 months, after which suffered a season-ending ACL harm. Murphy is lastly again, however he missed practically two months with an indirect harm suffered on Opening Day.

    The opposite 4 have been principally wholesome—Riley missed two weeks in Could with a aspect harm; Albies missed eight video games in April with a fractured toe—however have not been practically the collective drive that they had been in 2023.

    All informed, they’ve gone from averaging 5.8 runs per sport final 12 months to a modest 4.5 this 12 months. They’ve nonetheless managed to place collectively one of many higher information within the majors, however principally as a result of Chris Sale and Reynaldo López have been pitching out of their minds. If these veterans come again to earth earlier than Olson, Harris and Co. get right into a groove, issues may go south in a rush.

1. Houston Astros

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    Houston's Alex Bregman

    Houston’s Alex BregmanEakin Howard/Getty Photos

    File: 26-33

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    Preseason Win Whole: 93.5

    Do you bear in mind the preseason hierarchy of MLB groups?

    It was the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves jostling for the highest spot, co-favorites to win the World Sequence. After which the AL favourite was the Houston Astros, supposed to complete a couple of video games forward of each the Yankees and the Orioles within the race for the AL’s No. 1 seed.

    To place it evenly, that is not the best way issues have performed out.

    Every of the opposite high groups simply talked about is at the least eight video games above .500, whereas Houston would wish to reel off 15 consecutive wins to get there.

    What’s baffling about their continued lack of ability to recover from the hump is there was a number of particular person success.

    Kyle Tucker has been unimaginable. Jake Meyers has vastly exceeded expectations. So has Ronel Blanco. José Altuve, Yordan Álvarez, Jeremy Peña and Mauricio Dubón have all been greater than enough, every with an OPS of .750 or higher. Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier have all been strong, when wholesome, every with an ERA under 4.00.

    However the entire merely has not been larger than the sum of its components, struggling to string collectively a lot as a two-game successful streak until they’re going through the A’s or the Rockies.

    It does nonetheless really feel like they’re on the point of hitting their stride and occurring a run.

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    With every week that it would not occur, although, the frustration on this staff grows a little bit stronger.

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