Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics
It was only a season ago when Khris Davis finished 8thin the AL MVP voting. Mashing 48 homers Davis became the power bat in an emerging lineup. The cog in a machine of a soon to be great offense in Oakland. The specious Coliseum was no match for his raw power. The Athletics were so inspired by his season that they signed him to a two-year extension worth over $33 million. When they did this, I openly tweeted that Oakland just got a steal. A young player that has been averaging 40 homers for multiple years for a discount as well as not having to go through the trouble of dealing with the problem of free agency.
The Athletics have overcome a slow start despite Davis’s slash line of .224/.290/.390. Davis has been a complete disaster with a wRC+ 50 points behind his career average. The Athletics have been lucky to have Ramon Laureano become an offensive force.
Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays were not coming into this year looking to contend. Aaron Sanchez was supposed to be a player they could look upon to bring back some valuable pieces to help the rebuild along with their already existing young core. Sanchez came out of the gates looking like a guy that would be moved to a contender in no time, starting out the year with a 3-1 record with a 20.6% strikeout rate, 15.3% walk rate, 2.32 ERA, 5.45 SIERA, and 0.3 fWAR in 31 innings. Then the wheels fell off Sanchez. Sanchez currently leads the league with 14 losses while sporting a 5.09 xFIP.
Sanchez went from potential trade chip to a potential DFA in less than two months.
Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets
Thor was supposed to help the Mets compete for an NL East crown in 2019, but that’s not the season Noah Syndergaard of the Mets have gotten. Not to say Syndergaard has been terrible but a 4.33 ERA was not what the Mets were looking for. They wanted to see steps in the right direction similarly to Jacob DeGrom. That has not been the case for Syndergaard. Statistics are similar but the biggest problem for him has been batting average against with runners in scoring position. His xFIP has went up by an entire run in the 2019 season.
Syndergaard has now been forced to deal with the rumors that he is available in trade scenarios. The distraction has been a problem for the team along with the lack of direction for the team.
Kyle Freeland, Colorado Rockies
The Rockies were everyone’s darling team last season. Kyle Freeland was the leader of a pitching staff that stepped up to make them a legitimate contender. Freeland entered the season looking to repeat his dominance, that is not how the season has gone. Freeland, 26, has found himself in the midst of a major regression 2-6 with a 7.13 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 12 starts before being farmed out.
The minors haven’t seemed to help Freeland find what he was missing as the second half hasn’t changed much. With Freeland’s decline the Rockies have declined falling further out of contention as the summer goes on. Freeland’s most baffling number is the power he has given up. Last year he posted an impressive .76 homeruns per nine. That number has ballooned to a 2.09. In a place like Colorado there is no wiggle room for mistakes and Freeland has been making a lot of them. The Rockies are still within striking distance of a Wild Card Spot, they will need Freeland to step up and be some form of his 2018 self.
Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals believed that they had the perfect combination at the top of their lineup with Matt Carpenter, coming off of a career season in 2018, followed by newly acquired
Paul Goldschmidt. The plan was to have them bat one and two in front of power bat Marcel Ozuna. Carpenter has looked lost at the plate for the entire season, his total WRC+ has dropped from a 138 in 2018 to an 86 in 2019. His on-base percentage is down 50 points compared to last season. Carpenter’s struggles attributed to the slow start of the Cardinals offense.
Injuries have played a role in Carpenter’s struggles, but an overall lack of confidence seems to be the most telling signs. His swing and miss rate has gone up as well as his pitch recognition. The Cardinals have found a way to play through his struggles and still compete but a return to form of their 2018 MVP candidate would be huge for the stretch run. It is not looking likely though as Carpenter’s most recent numbers in the minors have not shown that he is major league ready. The Cardinal need his production to be a legit contender.