The season is not so far along that, no matter where your team is, there isn’t a chance to recover.
With that in mind, let’s look at a quick fix for every team in baseball -- a way to help one of their deficiencies so far, or at least aid the team over the next few months. There’s so much baseball left. We have only just begun.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Get George Springer healthy
Sure, I make it sound so easy, but still: The Blue Jays have hung in admirably despite not having their top offseason addition to help out a lineup that’s not quite as deep as everyone was planning on. But eventually, they’re going to need Springer. How much longer can they hold on without him?
Orioles: Call up Adley Rutschman
So Jarred Kelenic is up now. The gauntlet has been thrown, the floodgates have been opened. It is almost time for Adley. (Of course, in order to be called up directly to the Majors this year, players must already be in Triple-A, so the Orioles should move Rutschman up from Double-A soon to make this happen.)
Rays: Call up Wander Franco
I swear, not every one of these will involve demanding a team bring up their top-shelf prospect. But no team has a quicker fix more readily available to them than the Rays do. To wit: Franco has a .959 OPS at Triple-A and is considered the game’s best prospect … Rays shortstop Willy Adames has a .546 OPS.
Red Sox: Figure out first base
The Bobby Dalbec story was a little cuter when the Red Sox weren’t thought to be a major contender and you could just watch the kid try to figure it out in the big leagues. But now the Red Sox need to hold onto first place, and they need, at the very least, a league-average first baseman to do it.
Yankees: Iron out the rotation
The Yankees’ strategy of give-yourself-as-many-rotation-options-as-possible hasn’t necessarily been a bad one; Gerrit Cole has been great, and Jordan Montgomery, Corey Kluber and Domingo Germán have been perfectly respectable pitchers. But they’re not going to get a true run going until they can count on that every game … which is another sign that Jameson Taillon (5.40 ERA) needs to get it going, and fast.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Cleveland: Just start grabbing any bat that’s close
The thing about Cleveland is that this club doesn’t have to dream that big to improve its offense: League-average hitters, at positions where they aren’t that hard to find, are plentiful. But it feels like we say that all the time with these guys.
Royals: Get Jorge Soler going
You’re probably not going to be able to fix the rotation, at least not in the time frame you’re looking for. So maybe it’s easier to get the guy who many thought could hit 50 homers some full season going? His hard-hit rate is currently higher than it was the year he hit 48 homers, so there is something there.
Tigers: Just let the kids keep figuring it out
Yes, it’s frustrating to see the losses pile up again, but everything is going according to plan. The young pitchers are getting experience. Let them continue to do so.
Twins: Stare at a picture of Byron Buxton until he returns
Not much has gone right for the Twins so far, but everything that has gone right has been a result of what Buxton has been doing. With him out, this team is in serious danger of collapse.
White Sox: Leave Tony La Russa be
For all the talk of supposed strategic missteps from the shaking-off-the-rust manager, Tony La Russa has the White Sox right where he usually has his teams: In first place. The White Sox have lost two of their best players -- Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez -- to injury, and not only are they still leading the AL Central, they have the best record in baseball and the largest run differential. Maybe TLR knows what he’s doing? Maybe?
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels: Don’t panic
For all the drama of the Albert Pujols breakup, it did make a lot of sense for this team, particularly in its ability to help out its defense, which will in turn help out its pitching staff. There’s still stability and talent here, and on the pitching staff as well. Jose Quintana, in particular, should benefit from better defense. There’s a long way to go. The biggest, toughest move has already been made.
A’s: Fix shortstop
No one expected Elvis Andrus to be an All-Star again, but goodness, he is among the worst hitters in MLB right now. Isn’t this the obvious big Trevor Story suitor?
Astros: Keep that low profile
There were some boos in The Bronx, but all told: The first post-scandal year with fans in the stands hasn’t been that bad for the Astros. For once, the Astros are one of the quieter teams in baseball … and are arguably benefitting from the quiet.
Mariners: Get out of Kelenic’s way
The Mariners might just be the future of this division, and Jarred Kelenic is right smack in the middle of the reasons why. Let the kid rake. Good things will follow.
Rangers: Start making some deals
This season has gone just about as well as it possibly could have for the Rangers, particularly with how their offense is raking. And they’re still a few too many games back. If things turn, they need to be ready to profit by building for the future. Because as fun as some of that offense is … how sustainable is this?
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Stay the course
It sure feels like everything that isn’t Ronald Acuña Jr. and Huascar Ynoa has been either slightly or extremely disappointing for the Braves so far, and yet they’re right in the middle of everything in the NL East. There’s a reason this team has won multiple NL East titles in a row. There’s reason to think they’re very well positioned moving forward.
Marlins: Beg the baseball gods for some good fortune
The Marlins -- an NLDS participant last year, in case you’ve forgotten -- have the best run differential in their division, yet sit tied for third place. There are smart things being done by the Miami organization, both for 2021 and moving forward. It sure would be nice for them to catch a break or two.
Mets: Take good care of Jacob deGrom
It’d be nice to get Francisco Lindor going, but let’s not kid ourselves here: This Mets season is going to rise and fall on Jacob deGrom’s right side. The only fix that matters is fixing that.
Nationals: Find some better veterans, and fast
Just about every veteran lineup addition, from Kyle Schwarber to Starlin Castro to especially Josh Bell, has been a flop. How much time is left until they have to do something drastic?
Phillies: Find a center fielder
That Odubel Herrera is out there from time to time is a sign of how desperate they are at the position right now (and have been for a few years now). Finding a good one, or even a decent one, would solve a lot of issues. Phillies center fielders currently have an aggregate slash line of .176/.259/.296.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Get Christian Yelich healthy
The Brewers are holding up respectably without their MVP, but this team’s offense is built around him. He needs to get back, and soon.
Cardinals: Give Tyler O’Neill about one more month of rope
Now that Harrison Bader has returned, the Cardinals are close to settling in on their lineup … except for the streaky O’Neill, who has the talent to succeed but has a tendency to vanish for weeks at a time. He should have one month to figure out some consistency … or the Cardinals will need to find another solution.
Cubs: Find any sort of starter who can throw above 95 mph
Considering how many players have underperformed, the Cubs are fortunate to be holding up as well as they are. But the rotation is in danger of full-on collapse without any reliable arms who can miss bats with velocity.
Pirates: Get Ke’Bryan Hayes back
The present and future of the Pirates revolves around Hayes. They may need him more emotionally than they do on the field … and they need him on the field a lot.
Reds: Find that elusive balance
Once again, the Reds are a team that looks a little better than their record but can never quite get everything working together at the same time. If everything’s clicking, this could be the best team in the division. But it never seems to quite be clicking.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: A speedy recovery for Carson Kelly
Kelly was getting on base at a Bonds-ian rate (NL-best .491 OBP entering Saturday) before the D-backs lost him to the injured list with a fracture in his big toe.
Dodgers: Let gravity take effect
Everyone’s freaking out about the “slow” start, but people thought this was a potential record-breaking team for a reason. It’s all going to be fine.
Giants: Find another 30-something for the rotation
All the 30-somethings, both on the mound and in the field, are carrying this team. It’s just the 20-somethings who are struggling. So find more old guys: They’re everywhere!
Padres: Sniff around the starting pitcher market
The top three is still top-shelf, but it does appear they’re putting a lot on their bullpen early on. Every starting pitcher inning counts.
Rockies: Trade Trevor Story
Probably time to get this over with, yes?