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Looking at the rebound player for every MLB team in 2023


AP Photo/Jim Mone

AP Photo/Jim Mone

Looking at the rebound player for every MLB team in 2023

Now that postseason baseball is upon us, many teams are beginning their offseason plans. Even for the playoff teams, each team has at least one player that just flat-out sucked or underperformed. Let’s look at the player from each team that needs a rebound heading into 2023.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out who I picked for each team’s MVP for the 2022 season.

Toronto Blue Jays: SP Jose Berrios

There’s no way around it, Jose Berrios was terrible this season. In 172 innings, he’s given up exactly 100 runs, most in the American League. His 5.23 ERA is the worst in MLB, and it’s the worst season for Berrios since his rookie season. He’ll have a chance to redeem himself this postseason, assuming the Blue Jays can make it far enough to give him a start. The big right-hander is signed through 2028, so he has plenty of time to return an ace status.

Baltimore Orioles: SP John Means

Can we really say someone needs a rebound if they only played two games? In this case, yes. John Means was looking good through eight innings to start the year, striking out seven and giving up three runs. Unfortunately, he had Tommy John surgery in late April, ending his 2022 season. The lefty has emerged as the Orioles ace when healthy, and the team was able to flirt with playoff contention without him. Whether they use him as trade bait or he’s a part of a contending team next year, Means will need to return to form when he returns sometime in 2023.

Boston Red Sox: SP Chris Sale

Like Means, Chris Sale hasn’t been himself for the past couple of years. Are the injuries all his fault? Not completely, but an underperforming Red Sox team has definitely been missing his presence on the mound. He was only able to pitch in 5 2/3 innings this year in a total of two starts. The injuries are what is setting Sale back. He missed the season’s first three months with a rib stress fracture. Then after his second start, he broke his left pinky finger on a line-drive hit back at him. Most recently in August, Sale underwent wrist surgery after falling off his bike. The luck just hasn’t been there for Sale, and if he can stay healthy it’ll be a huge bounce back for him and the Red Sox.

Tampa Bay Rays: SS Wander Franco

The former top prospect signed an 11-year extension with the team for a reason. At only 21 years old, Wander Franco has all the potential in the world to become something great in Tampa. But with such high expectations, it wasn’t the year Franco or the Rays hoped he’d have. The injury bug bit Franco as well, sidelining him for 79 games this season. Franco posted 87 hits in 314 at-bats, and only six homers and 33 RBIs. The kid is still only 21, and with his decade-long deal, he has plenty of time to pick it up.

New York Yankees: RP Aroldis Chapman

What the hell happened to Aroldis Chapman? The dominant flame thrower seems to have his best days behind him. His 4.46 ERA is the highest of his career, and injuries lead to him losing the closing role. This year should clearly prove that wherever Chapman tries to rebound, it shouldn’t be in New York.

In late August, Chapman landed in the IL with a leg infection from a new tattoo. Can’t make this crap up. It got even worse on Sunday, just two days before the Yankees begin their ALDS. Chapman was left off the playoff roster after deciding to no-show at a team workout. Instead, he was out living the life in Miami. It is clear Chapman won’t be back in a Yankee uniform next year, but a team is bound to give him a chance.

Cleveland Guardians: SP Zach Plesac

It was looking promising for Zach Plesac this season, but it’s been a downward spiral since 2020. His -0.7 WAR along with his 4.31 ERA is nothing short of disappointing. He needs to invest in a punching bag though, because he can’t seem to stop breaking his hand in weird situations. Last year, he broke his thumb by ‘aggressively ripping off his shirt,’ whatever the hell that means. Then just last month, Plesac broke his hand by punching the mound after surrendering a home run. Clearly some growing up to do if he wants to rebound next year.

Detroit Tigers: OF Akil Baddoo

The rookie season for Akil Baddoo made headlines. He was looking to be a core piece of the outfield alongside Riley Greene. However, the sophomore slump hit him this season. Baddoo was hitting .140 for the first two months of the season before being optioned to Triple-A. Overall, he hit just .204 with only nine RBIs. It’s still only his second season, so Baddoo has plenty of chances to redeem himself.

Kansas City Royals: SP Kris Bubic

For a rebuilding team, there are always gonna be kinks to work out. For Kris Bubic, he needs a huge rebound year in 2023. A gruesome 5.58 ERA this season is something the lefty would love to forget. There is a reason that the Royals recently fired their pitching coach, so perhaps Bubic was just set back. Either way, the 25-year-old is expected to be part of this team’s future and will need to pick it up.

Minnesota Twins: 1B/3B Miguel Sano

An All-Star back in 2017, Miguel Sano has fallen off the face of the earth, only playing in 20 games this season with a .083 batting average. Things weren’t even there for him last year when he had 183 strikeouts. The power numbers are always there, but there’s a chance the Twins don’t pick up his option next season.

Chicago White Sox: SP Lucas Giolito

It’s been quite the journey for Lucas Giolito. He had the worst ERA in baseball in 2018 but quickly turned into an All-Star and an ace. For the 2022 season, however, Giolito had a beyond-disappointing year, going 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 161.2 innings. All around, the White Sox had a down year. Looking ahead to 2023, the team’s success will definitely have an uplift if Giolito can return to his ace-like form.

Houston Astros: 1B Yuli Gurriel

It’s crazy to think about Yuli Gurriel has been in the league for seven years and is already 38 years old. His .319 batting average was the best in the AL last year, but 2022 wasn’t so kind to him as he only batted .242 and had eight homers in 146 games. While the Astros are the best team in the AL this year, Gurriel would’ve liked to contribute more.

Los Angeles Angels: 3B Anthony Rendon

One of the most reliable players in baseball hasn’t been living up to the contract he got from the Angels. Anthony Rendon has played a combined 105 games over the past two seasons, fighting constant injury. Despite his wrist giving him consistent issues, it hasn’t stopped him from fighting (literally) for his team. The 2019 world champ knows a thing or two about winning, hopefully his team can learn how to do it too.

Oakland A’s: OF Ramón Laureano

It’s fair to say Ramon Laureano was part of what killed the A’s playoff hopes last year with his PED suspension. This year was nothing special and potentially ruined his trade value at the same time. Laureano only played 93 games, dealing with an oblique and hamstring injury throughout the season. While he’s nicknamed the laser for his arm out in the outfield, his bat needs to wake up. Laureano is expected to be a trade piece for the A’s, but it most likely won’t happen until next season if he returns to form.

Seattle Mariners: OF Jarred Kelenic

Before the days of J-Rod, Jarred Kelenic was seen as a centerpiece of this Mariners team. Through two seasons, Kelenic just looks lost. He only played 54 regular season games, spending most of his time in the minors. He only hit .141 for the season with a -0.2 WAR. He’s getting at-bats in the postseason for the Mariners, but now that the team is contending, Kelenic will have to find his groove soon.

Texas Rangers: 2B Marcus Semien

It wasn’t a bad season for Marcus Semien to be completely honest. But after the season he had in 2021, the Rangers paid him $175 million to produce. This Rangers team was never ready to compete, but alongside Corey Seager, the Rangers infield is built to win. He still hit 26 home runs, but his defensive runs saved were in the negatives and the batting average was down. One of those ‘it was a good season,’ but he can always be better.

Atlanta Braves: 2B Ozzie Albies

There are not many things going wrong for the defending world champs. Ozzie Albies had himself a career year in 2021, but this season has been nothing more than disappointing. The injuries are the main reason why, as he was out for three months with a foot injury and then most recently with a finger injury. Vaughn Grissom has done an excellent job filling in for him, and it’s possible the Braves face a problem with those two heading into 2023.

Miami Marlins: 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr.

The young second baseman was looking like one of the most exciting players at the beginning of the year. But after 60 games, it quickly ended. A stress fracture in his back and a torn meniscus ended his season pretty early. The Marlins are still young, so Jazz Chisholm Jr. has plenty of time to get healthy and be an important piece of the Marlins lineup.

New York Mets: 1B/DH Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith just isn’t finding the chance to produce. Even when he does, it seems to not work. In 58 games this year, he didn’t hit a home run and batted .194. Perhaps a change of scenery will help him? There just isn’t anywhere for Smith to really play, and we’ve seen the potential flash in previous years. Whether it’s in New York or not, Smith will need a bounce back in 2023.

Washington Nationals: OF Victor Robles

Remember when people thought Victor Robles and Juan Soto would be the next big thing? Well, Soto is gone, and I don’t think Robles knows what hitting a baseball is. The offense isn’t there and the strikeouts are up. He always has had the speed and defense, but you have to be able to put the ball into play. He’s only 25, and with a rebuilding team, Robles has time to pick it up.

Philadelphia Phillies: SP Kyle Gibson

When the Phillies traded for Kyle Gibson at the deadline last year, it fell short of expectations when they missed the playoffs. While they made it this year, Gibson was no part of the success. His ERA was 5.05 and gave up a career-high 24 home runs. Gibson is set to be a free agent following the season, so there’s a chance he doesn’t even return to the Phillies. Either way, Gibson will look to return to that 2021 form when he was on the Rangers.

Milwaukee Brewers: SP Freddy Peralta

The big three of Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta turned into the big two. Peralta couldn’t stay healthy this season, only able to throw 78 innings. He still had a 3.58 ERA and 86 strikeouts, just wasn’t able to provide a full season. While the Brewers missed the playoffs, a healthy rotation including Peralta is one to beat.

St. Louis Cardinals: OF Dylan Carlson

Before Juan Soto was traded to the Padres, the Cardinals emerged as a landing spot. They backed out, however, because the Nats wanted Dylan Carlson in the deal. The 23-year-old is clearly seen as a future centerpiece for the Cardinals, but the bat will have to rebound after this 2022 season. With only eight homers with a .236 batting average, the outfielder will have more chances to find his form. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting last year, so there’s no reason why he can’t become a superstar.

Chicago Cubs: 2B Nick Madrigal

Nick Madrigal was your textbook contact hitter with the White Sox. In his first year on the other side of Chicago, Madrigal didn’t have himself a normal season. He’s yet to play more than 60 games in a season, but this year he didn’t bat .300. No homers and a 0.7 WAR this season. He’s still young, so he can easily bounce back and become a great contact hitter.

Pittsburgh Pirates: 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes

The Pirates did something they’ve never done before, they signed a player long-term. Ke’Bryan Hayes and his eight-year extension make him stuck in Pittsburgh until 2030, and he’s looking to become a cornerstone for this team. He still needs to grow into his potential, especially with the power. He hasn’t reached over 10 home runs yet, and the strikeouts are still pretty high. The Pirates have no choice but to be patient, but there’s no reason why Hayes can’t find a groove.

Cincinnati Reds: 1B Joey Votto

The 38-year-old fan favorite had one of his best seasons in 2021. He was repeating that success this year, until undergoing surgery after 91 games and ending his season. He still managed to hit 11 homers, and while the age is getting to him, Joey Votto is always going to give it his all until he hangs up the cleats.

Arizona Diamondbacks: 2B Ketel Marte

Ever since the 2019 season when Ketel Marte finished fourth in NL MVP voting, it hasn’t been as successful. His 2022 season was an example of that, and the All-Star is in need of a rebound. Only batting .240 on the year with 101 strikeouts and a .377 OBP. While the D-backs are in rebuild mode still, Marte can be a bright light for the team.

Los Angeles Dodgers: INF Max Muncy

We’ve heard this story so many times. Max Muncy leaves Oakland and becomes a star with the Dodgers. His 2022 season has been horrendous, however. Sure, he has 21 homers and 69 RBIs. The batting average? A whopping .196. He became more of a power-strikeout hitter, and I’m sure he’ll want the average back up in 2023.

San Francisco Giants: OF Mike Yastrzemski

Before the Giants surge in 2021, Yaz was one of those guys that were making noise for himself. A losing season this year for the team, and Mike Yastrzemski wasn’t much better. He only batted .214 this season, despite having a WAR above two. The whole Giants team needs a rebound, but Yastrzemski could be a part of that as well.

San Diego Padres: SS Fernando Tatis Jr.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Getting busted for PEDs is a season you want to forget about. After hitting 42 homers last year, we know what Fernando Tatis Jr. can do. We’ll see how he is in 2023, and he definitely has some more maturing to do.

Colorado Rockies: 3B/OF Kris Bryant

When the Rockies signed Kris Bryant, it was one of the odd free-agent signings. One year in, it’s looking like one of the worst. He just couldn’t stay healthy, only playing 42 games. He hit five homers; none were at Coors Field. They’re paying him $182 million, so they got to hope that Bryant can figure it out next season.

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