There are always some stragglers and slow starters each season where you shake your head and go “how is this possible?” We have definitely seen some disappointments thus far and we hope that there will be a correction sooner rather than later. But for now, here are the biggest MLB disappointments to begin the 2023 campaign.
Chicago White Sox
I don’t know why I entered the season with so much optimism – once again – for the White Sox after they’ve let us down each of the last two years. However, it just seems a shame that this team has underperformed with the very talented roster they’ve had in recent years.
As of this writing, the highest batting average, for regular starters, is Andrew Benintendi, a guy who is hitting .262 with no home runs and nine RBIs. Luis Robert is at least hitting the ball well, but guys like Eloy Jimenez have let us down again and Yoan Moncada at this point is someone who we may be writing off as a fraud after he was deemed the prize acquisition in the blockbuster Chris Sale trade to the Boston Red Sox a few years ago.
The White Sox brought in a new manager this year to right the ship from the failed Tony La Russa era and it looks as ugly as before with guys hardly jogging out infield grounders and a clear lack of care and want from this group. It feels like it’s time to see an improvement or risk blowing it all up.
St. Louis Cardinals
Things have gone south quickly in St. Louis where the Cardinals have become irrelevant in what we thought would be a mediocre NL Central. While I predicted them to repeat as division winner, not only are they at the bottom of their division but at the time of this writing, they are the worst team in the National League.
For a team that has Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and incredibly talented younger prospects, it seems unfathomable that they are in this spot, but their pitching has been downright horrible.
The Cardinals have the 4th-worst WHIP as a pitching staff in the league and are allowing the third-best batting average to opponents. It’s been so bad that they took Willson Contreras, their prized offseason acquisition, and moved him from catcher to designated hitter in hopes of improving the pitching.
Big Aces on the Move
Everyone was waiting for the massive impact that we assumed Justin Verlander was going to have on the New York Mets and to see how Jacob deGrom was going to perform in a uniform that didn’t say Mets on it.
Instead, we have hardly seen the two pitch at all this season. Verlander was injured to begin the year and in his first start, he got rocked over 5 innings, allowing two home runs and five runs. Hopefully we will see him suit up for more starts strung together now that he has returned from the IL.
Not to anyone’s surprise, deGrom was placed on the IL – yet again – on April 29th with apparent inflammation on his throwing arm but is expected to return soon. Both of these guys have a concerning injury history, but we hope they can figure it out and stay off the IL for the rest of the year.