The new MLB season presents a clean slate for players looking to bounce back after sub-par seasons. Here's a look at 30 players hoping to rebound from 2019.
Aguilar had a breakout year in 2018 as Milwaukee's starting first baseman, hitting .274-35-108. However, he regressed last year (.236-12-50), struggling for both the Brewers and Rays. Miami is giving the 29-year-old another shot at a starting role in 2020.
Archer's results have been a nightmare since he was traded from Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh in 2018. That was particularly the case last year, as he finished with a career-worst 5.19 ERA in 23 starts and was on the shelf to end the year with a shoulder injury. There is optimism Archer can bounce back this season, as he pitched better in the second half last year after trashing his two-seam fastball, and he will get help from a new coaching staff in Pittsburgh.
After finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young voting during 2018, Bauer regressed in a big way last season. Between Cleveland and Cincinnati, he posted a 4.48 ERA in 213 innings. Now in a walk year, Bauer is hoping to get right so that he can earn a huge contract next offseason.
Benintendi looked like a budding star in his first three seasons in MLB, but took a huge step back last year. He posted a career-low .774 OPS, and hit just .266-13-68 in 615 plate appearances for the season. With Mookie Betts gone to L.A., the Red Sox are counting on Benintendi to rebound.
Cain continued to make spectacular plays in the field last year, but his bat wasn't the same as he battled a thumb injury. The center fielder hit just .260-11-48 with a sub-.700 OPS for the season.
Many were critical of the Mets taking on Cano's contract from Seattle last offseason, and the early returns were much worse than expected. The eight-time All-Star hit just .256-13-39 in 423 plate appearances at age 36.
St. Louis gave Carpenter a two-year contract extension last year right before a nightmarish season. The three-time All-Star hit just .226-15-46 in 492 plate appearances and lost playing time to Tommy Edman at third base.
It was a long 2019 for Carrasco, who struggled early in the season and missed a large chunk of the year due to leukemia. He was able to return to Cleveland's bullpen late in the year and is set to return to the starting rotation in 2020. His comeback is a good story that could become a great one if he's able to make a full rebound.
Usually Oakland's DH, Davis injured his hip while playing left field early last season and was never the same. The three-time 40-plus home run hitter finished with just 23 homers in 533 plate appearances, After an offseason of rest, the A's hope the elite power will come back.
Davis had one of the worst seasons by a reliever in recent memory during 2019, with an 8.65 ERA in 50 appearances. He did convert 15 saves, but Davis was eventually ousted as Colorado's closer. Now in the final year of his three-year deal, the Rockies hope he can make up for last year.
Eovaldi was a playoff hero for Boston in 2018, helping him earn a four-year, $68 million extension. His long history of injuries returned, however, as Eovaldi threw only 67.2 innings with a 5.99 ERA in 2019. After trading Mookie Betts and David Price, the Red Sox are relying on Eovaldi to make a contribution more like he did in 2018 (3.81 ERA in 111 innings).
Freeland had a breakout 2018 season, finishing fourth in the NL Cy Young voting by going 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA in 33 starts. That changed last year, as his ERA was nearly four runs higher (6.73), and he spent time in the minors. The lefty did show some progress late in the year, so the team is hopeful he can put the poor season behind him.
Galllo is one of the game's elite power hitters, with two 40 home run seasons to his name, but he hit only 22 home runs last year due to missed time. By shifting him to right field, Texas is hopeful Gallo will be more durable and back to his 40-plus home run ways.
Kimbrel didn't pitch during the first two months of last season as he held out for a big contract, and he finally got it from the Cubs. Unfortunately, the star closer didn't look ready for prime time and missed time with elbow problems. Apparently strapped for cash this offseason, the Cubs need their closer to pitch up to his former ability.
Kluber struggled in seven starts early last season before suffering a fractured elbow. An oblique injury during rehab prevented the two-time Cy Young winner from returning, and he was traded to Texas in the offseason. The Rangers are hopeful Kluber can be their ace, as they open their new ballpark.
McCutchen got off to a nice start in his first season with the Phils before suffering a torn ACL. He played only 59 games, a career low, but is set to start in left field again for Philadelphia. Anything short of a playoff berth will be a disappointment for the Phillies, and they're counting on McCutchen to help get them there.
Myers is one of San Diego's highest-paid players, but he fell out of favor in a crowded outfield last year. While he appeared in 155 games, Myers didn't reach 500 plate appearances and hit just .239-18-53. He will have another crowded outfield situation this year as he enters spring training, but he has shown the ability to be an offensive asset in the past.
Nimmo had a breakout season in 2018 but played only 69 games last year due to a neck injury. The Mets added insurance this offseason by acquiring Jake Marisnick, but Nimmo could give the team a nice offensive jolt if he can bounce back after posting an .886 OPS in 2018.
Pollock earned a four-year, $55 million contract from the Dodgers last season but missed much of the year with an elbow infection. He did perform well while on the field (.266-15-47) and could make one of the league's most talented teams even better in 2020.
Posey had hip surgery late in the 2018 season and wasn't quite the same last year. The former MVP had his worst offensive season, hitting only .257-7-38 in 445 plate appearances. He admitted this spring that he couldn't run well due to the hip, so hopefully more time to rest will help him get back on track.
Ramirez had an absolutely terrible first half in 2019 (.218-8-38), but he was able to bounce back after the break (.327-16-48). Unfortunately, a fractured hamate bone stopped much of his momentum. The two-time Silver Slugger Award winner hopes to put together a full bounce-back campaign this year.
Sale's regular season has ended early with arm trouble in consecutive years. He enters spring training with a healthy arm, though he's behind the rest of his teammates due to pneumonia. Sale has continued to fan opposing hitters at will, but he hasn't reached 160 innings in either of the last two seasons.
Severino finished top 10 in AL Cy Young voting in consecutive seasons before his injury-plagued 2019 season. He managed to make only three appearances during the regular season but enters spring with a clean bill of health. New York is counting on him after losing James Paxton to a back injury already.
Shaw hit 30-plus home runs in back-to-back seasons before last year's struggles in Milwaukee. He hit only .157-7-16 and tried to get on track in a minor league demotion. Toronto bought low on the infielder, who is hoping to bounce back in his age 30 season.
Simmons has been a solid offensive performer for most of his career, but he missed significant time and struggled last year due to fluke ankle injuries. The Angels have high hopes this year after hiring manager Joe Maddon, and Simmons remains a big part of their plans.
Smith was mired in a terrible slump at the start of last season. He eventually bounced back somewhat after a minor league demotion but still finished hitting only .227 with a .635 OPS for the season. Smith still led the league with 46 stolen bases but needs to hit better to keep regular playing time.
Snell won the AL Cy Young in 2018 but injuries limited him to only 23 starts and a 4.29 ERA last season. Tampa Bay has plenty of pitching depth but is counting on Snell to become its ace again this year.
Stanton is just two years removed from winning MVP but would like to forget 2019. It was one injury after another for the strong outfielder; he finished the year appearing in only 18 regular-season games. Anything short of a World Series win will be a disappointment for this year's Yankees squad, and Stanton can play a big part in helping the team meet those expectations.
Has Votto finally hit the decline stage of his career? He had one of his worst seasons in 2019, hitting just .261-15-47 in 608 plate appearances. The Reds have high hopes for 2020 after several notable moves in the offseason, and a rebound from the 36-year-old Votto this year would be a bonus.
Wood spent last year in Cincinnati making only seven starts due to chronic back problems. He returned to the Dodgers this offseason and is healthy again. The Dodgers could get a bargain after signing the lefty to a one-year deal, as he posted a 3.46 ERA in four seasons with L.A. previously.
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