Five MLB teams aiming for recovery after disappointing 2022 starts

Friends recommend watching Sheet Creek, and I couldn’t get there for a while. Despite the impressive acting that featured Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, the first season was embarrassing and obnoxious. I felt like everyone was trying so hard.
But like a true pro (sitting on my couch, eating crackers), I hooked it up with Sheet Creek, and I’m glad I did. The characters developed in magical ways and began to perfectly manipulate each other. When the sixth and final season of the sitcom swept the 2020 Emmy Awards, I was happy for that band of misfits who pulled them together to become a winning team.
This kind of thing happens in baseball all the time, which is why it’s never wise to count a team with a lot of talent until or unless math does it for us.
So far in 2022, there are five teams widely rated as contenders that, for one reason or another, have failed. All five of these teams entered the weekend with records that will put them out of the final game picture if the season ends.
But the season is not over. So can these five teams make like a certain TV show and put it together? Let’s discuss.
the situation: The South Sides entered 2022 as the clear favorite for a repeat in the MLS Central. But their roster was broken into due to injury early on, while the twins played well enough to grab the top spot. Lance Lynn’s absence made Dallas Keuchel’s 6.86 ERA stand out even more, the Bullpen allowed plenty of traffic (1.38 WHIP) and the offense lacked a hard hit (.354 SLG, 24th in the MLB).
Reason for optimism: We’ve seen some lately, with third baseman Yoon Moncada, loyalist Joe Kelly of IL and Luis Robert alive on the plate after a slow start that included a thigh injury. Michael Kopech made a smooth transition into the spin (0.93 ERA in six starts) and Lynn will soon be back with a knee problem. As Sox’s health improves, sedatives stabilize into their expected roles and bats reach their optimum levels, there’s no reason why they can’t stay with the Twins who still have to prove their survival.
Reasons for doubt: A tear in Eloy Jimenez’s right hamstring keeps him away for the foreseeable future, affecting the shape of the squad. Liam Hendrix has had an uncharacteristically weird season so far, and if he’s not his dominant self, that’s affecting the shape of the pen. The biggest issue for the Sox is if the biting bug persists year-round or critical pieces underperform, their farm system may not have the depth to make a positive impact through recalls or mediocre deals.
the situation: The defending champions have lost three of their first five games this season and have not recovered more than 0.500 since then. The struggles of veteran Charlie Morton (5.65 ERA, 76 ERA+) hindered the rotation, while defensive backs Marcel Ozuna, Adam Duvall and Dansby Swanson were among the worst performing players in the National League. While the Mets rose to number one in the NL East, the Braves are rated disappointingly in the middle of the pack in runs per game (4.15, tied for 14th in MLB) and allowed per game (4.48, 23 in MLB).
Reasons for optimism: Ronald Acuña Jr. made an earlier-than-expected comeback from a horrific right knee injury, and despite a recent bout with a groin strain, he made an immediate impact (.282/.391/.487 slash). Expected stats show that Ozuna, Duvall, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies and Swanson have had some bad luck. In fact, the difference between the Braves lag (.398) and the predicted SLG (.493) is the largest among any NL team. Morton has a long track record to suggest he will contribute positively to the spin that Max Fried continues to grow to an ace and Kyle Wright has provided a boost. Bullpen looked good on paper and was effective in reality, with a 10th best WHIP (1.17) and seventh best average vs (.214) in the MLB. The brave last year proved they can beat the slow start.
Reasons for doubt: It was one thing for the Braves to make their way to the top of the NL East in 2021, when it was the most disappointing division in baseball. But the Mets upped the ante this year. If Morton is washed out or the rotation needs other repairs and the breach doesn’t persist, it may be too much for GM Alex Antopoulos to fix in numbers that should be the dealer’s commercial market.
the situation: Phils of Vintage is proof that you can’t buy your way to the playoffs. They have the second longest post-season dry spell in the MLB and the longest in the NL. Strengthening the line-up around possession of NL MVP Bryce Harper with Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber, Philadelphia looked poised to fight its way into the competition this year. But Harper, despite being a producer, plays through a UCL right elbow tear that limited him to DH duties on a team that already had a lot of DH types to start with. And the weekend’s cast came in at number 22 in the MLB in the ERA (3.97).
Reasons for optimism: The offense was among the best in baseball by size (.747 OPS, second in MLB) but struggled with the runners in scoring (.714 OPS, 19 in MLB). Positive regression to averaging a very good group of bats should help the Phillies improve their lackluster record in one-off games. The promo crew does better than the raw ERA (a particularly noteworthy blast against the Mets). Several key members of that team predicted EARRs better than those raw E-Tenders – including spindles Zach Wheeler (3.15 vs. 4.26), Aaron Nola (2.51 vs. 3.83), Zach Evelyn (2.76 vs. 4.50) and bull arm Jose Alvarado ( 3.24 vs 7.45).
Reasons for doubt: Harper’s injury, which isn’t going to go away on its own anytime soon, doesn’t affect his swing but it does significantly affect the way the day’s lineup is formed. Defense wasn’t expecting it to be good, well, it wasn’t (nine defensive runs saved). This does not help a team that does not have a large margin of error.
the situation: After the club’s 90 wins last year finished just two games out of a playoff and big moves were made to carry AL Cy Young winners Robbie Ray, Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez, the Mariners looked set to make real headway in the AL West title. . Sadly, it was the Angels who rushed to confront the Astros, while Em has been in a state of prolonged funk for the past two and a half weeks.
Reasons for optimism: This team got off to a promising start from 11-6, so you don’t have to stare too hard to see that they’re returning to that level of play for extended periods this summer. It seems Julio Rodriguez, the popular novice, is finding himself in the plate (.311/.363/.432 tilted since April 22), and advanced metrics insist Winker(.) will flip it over to increase the lineup in which Ty France and JP Crawford are thriving . Young George Kirby and Logan Gilbert both showed their spin-off potential. The team went last year 4-11 in mid-May, only to go 68-46 the rest of the way. This team could very well deviate from a similar path.
Reasons for doubt: Start with Ray, who did a better show on his last start, but whose core advanced metrics are still decidedly frustrating. If he’s not right (and if Gilbert’s early success is undermined by a high rate of walking), do sailors have the desire to be a serious competitor? It’s also upsetting to see hot-nominated Jared Kielnik continue to struggle on the board, now selected for Triple-A. With Mitch Hanniger out for months with a high right ankle sprain and Kyle Lewis not expected to return for another two weeks at the earliest, the Mariners lack reinforcements. Unfortunately, the team with the longest post-season drought in North American professional sports has a lot to prove, and so far, Team M has yet to prove it.
the situation: Boston Football Club, which racked up two World Series wins last year, now has a record that puts it among MLB drunks. Although the roster had not undergone a massive revamp from last year and the Sox had a hit signing Trevor Story, the lineup was lackluster, Chris Sale was absent from the rotation and the ninth inning was a mess.
Reasons for optimism: The offense was carried out by Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and JD Martinez, all of whom have OPS+ scores at least 40% better than the league average. Give the Red Sox a league average attack collectively from the other six points in the order and you have a completely different team. There could be options within the system in the form of defensive player Garen Doran and first baseman Triston Casas to improve squad depth, and perhaps Story could turn it around after a horrific start. Boston Bullpen is a mess, but we’ve seen other clubs fix their pens quickly. Sal and James Paxton will eventually return from injury to give the spinning roles they desperately need.
Reasons for doubt: Mathematics for one person. The Red Sox entered the weekend not only 12 games in the brutal AL East, but 5 1/2 again in what is and will remain a packed Wild Card race. The Red Sox pursue clubs with better depth and fewer questions – and delaying Sal’s return from a rib cage injury due to a personal medical issue certainly doesn’t help their cause. The rough start to the story and the unresolved Bogart contract issue affect this club in a big way.

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