MLB teams need their stars to perform as well as they have during their whole careers to fulfill their objectives.
When that doesn’t happen, these clubs risk failure.
These three MLB organizations certainly expected more of these three players, whose numbers in 2022 have been extremely disappointing.
3. Javier Baez, SS, Detroit Tigers
One of the five big free agent shortstops during the offseason, Javier Baez decided to take his talents to Detroit, signing a six-year, $140 million pact with the Tigers.
Detroit was supposed to be building a team capable of challenging for a postseason spot.
But several things have gone wrong, including Baez’s performance, and they are currently in fourth place of the AL Central division with a 15-28 record.
Baez is slashing a putrid .201/.241/.321 with three homers in 2022.
That’s not going to cut it.
He is capable of much more, as he showed last season, in which he batted .265/.319/.494 with 31 homers and 18 steals between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets.
He has shown his elite range at shortstop, but Detroit needs his power-speed combo and timely hits to have a chance.
His batting average won’t be too high, but homers and steals should come for the slugger.
2. Robbie Ray, SP, Seattle Mariners
During the offseason, the Seattle Mariners signed reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray to a five-year, $115 million contract to be the ace of an up-and-coming roster.
After all, Ray had finished a strong 2021 with the Toronto Blue Jays, in which he led the American League in ERA (2.84), ERA+ (154), innings (193 1/3), and WHIP (1.045).
That is not the pitcher that the Mariners thought they were getting.
So far, Ray has a 4.75 ERA in 60.2 innings.
Control has been an issue for him in the past, but at 3.12 walks per nine frames, it hasn’t been a huge problem in 2022.
His strikeouts are a little down compared to 2021, and his command has been less than stellar.
Ray is good enough that we can say he has a good chance of bouncing back eventually, but right now, the Mariners definitely expected better results.
Robbie ray and winker struggling doesn’t help
— Sam Eichel (@SamEichel1) May 26, 2022
1. Marcus Semien, 2B/SS, Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers had a surprisingly good offseason, adding two top-tier infielders for a combined $500 million.
One of them, Marcus Semien, put pen to paper on a seven-year, $175 million pact after having a great year in Toronto.
But Semien has been one of the worst regulars in the majors.
He is batting .185/.242/.247 and is yet to hit his first home run as we approach the third month of the season.
He has stolen four bases, but has been extremely disappointing for the Rangers, who certainly had higher expectations after he led the majors in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in the 2019-2021 period.
If you consider he hit 45 home runs, scored 115 runs, drove in 102 and stole 15 bags last year with the Blue Jays, you wonder where has that production gone.
Semien should start hitting eventually, but he won’t even approach last year’s numbers with the kind of start he had.
Rangers fans are still waiting to see the first sign of life from Semien at the plate.
Marcus Semien hitting 45 home runs in 2021 and not having any home runs through May 20, 2022 is not only wildly disappointing for Rangers fans but one of the most insane sports oddities I’ve ever seen.
— Patrick Nolan (@SoxMach_pnoles) May 21, 2022