There are certain players you think you’re going to be able to count on, for every team. They’re the givens, the ones you don’t worry about while you’re worrying about all sorts of other things. But the thing about the givens is, well, nothing is a given. Sometimes your givens aren’t a given.
So we look at the one guy on every team that we all thought would be a constant for their teams but needs to get it going. Everybody has a bad month every once in a while, even when it’s the first month of the year. The trick is making sure that’s all it is: one bad month.
All statistics are through Sunday.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Cavan Biggio, 3B/OF
Key stats: .206 BA, 3 HR, .646 OPS
While Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the son of a Hall of Famer on the Blue Jays who has discovered his true self this year, Biggio, barely above the Mendoza line, is still looking for his swing.
Orioles: Ryan Mountcastle, OF/1B
Key stats: .223 BA, 2 HR, .250 OBP
The guy finished in the top 10 in the AL Rookie of the Year voting last year and was seen as part of the first wave of Orioles prospects coming through the system. But 2021 has been a mess, with his on-base percentage down more than 130 points.
Rays: Brandon Lowe, 2B
Key stats: .195 BA, 41 K’s, .672 OPS
There were swaths of 2020 when Lowe was the best hitter on the best team in the AL. But he’s under .200 for a team that needs his bat as much as it ever has.
Red Sox: Hunter Renfroe, RF
Key stats: .221 BA, 4 HR, 6 BB
The Red Sox thought they were taking a potential big bat from their division rival Tampa Bay, but his struggles at times in 2020 have carried over into ’21.
Yankees: Gleyber Torres, SS
Key stats: .242 BA, 1 HR, .644 OPS
He had a few big hits over the weekend, but he has a long way to go to get back to the star status the Yankees once thought he was on the cusp of.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians: Eddie Rosario, LF
Key stats: .234 BA, 3 HR, .662 OPS
After jumping from the division-rival Twins, Rosario has struggled as much as seemingly every other Cleveland outfielder has been struggling for years now.
Royals: Jorge Soler, DH/RF
Key stats: .191 BA, 2 HR, .612 OPS
The Royals’ offense has been better than expected, but Soler hasn’t been a part of it: The guy with the franchise’s single-season homers record has only two this year.
Tigers: Jonathan Schoop, 1B/2B
Key stats: .180 BA, 2 HR, 8 RBIs
He was one of their best hitters last season, but Schoop just hasn’t done much for the Tigers this year.
Twins: Kenta Maeda, RHP
Key stats: 2-2, 5.02 ERA, 1.535 WHIP
Quite a few Twins to choose from, actually, but surely the team did not expect the guy who finished second in the AL Cy Young voting last year to have an ERA over 5.00.
White Sox: Lucas Giolito, RHP
Key stats: 2-3, 4.54 ERA
The White Sox were trying to build a rotation around Giolito. At this point, he’s the rotation’s weak point.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels: José Quintana, LHP
Key stats: 0-3, 9.00 ERA, 2.14 WHIP
Quintana was supposed to be one of the safer, more reliable rotation add-ons the Angels have brought in over the past few years. Instead he has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball.
A’s: Elvis Andrus, SS
Key stats: .158 BA, 0 HR, .414 OPS
The A’s weren’t expecting their longtime division nemesis to be a superstar. But he’s almost playing more like a sleeper agent.
Astros: Kyle Tucker, RF
Key stats: .188 BA, 6 HR, .651 OPS
The Astros were planning on this being a year that Tucker built on his success of last season and established himself as a fixture in this lineup. But right now, he’s not holding up his end of the bargain.
Mariners: Kyle Lewis, CF
Key stats: 16 G, .258 BA, .749 OPS
Lewis hasn’t been a total disaster: He does have the third-highest OPS on the team. But the Mariners clearly were hoping for more than a .313 OBP from their reigning AL Rookie of the Year.
Rangers: David Dahl, LF
Key stats: .210 BA, 2 HR, .565 OPS
Many felt the Rangers were getting a deal by swiping Dahl this offseason, but the results haven’t been there just yet.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Marcell Ozuna, LF
Key stats: .201 BA, 4 HR, .590 OPS
The Braves have been wobbly so far, and Ozuna’s struggles, considering this was a guy who almost won the Triple Crown last year, has been at the center of it all.
Marlins: Brian Anderson, 3B
Key stats: .218 BA, 2 HR, .607 OPS
Anderson has been the one mainstay the Marlins have had for half a decade, but his production so far has been the worst of his career.
Mets: Francisco Lindor, SS
Key stats: .194 BA, 2 HR, .586 OPS
There have been signs of life of late. But it’s fair to say there hasn’t been a more disappointing big-ticket offseason addition to this point.
Nationals: Patrick Corbin, LHP
Key stats: 1-3, 7.36 ERA, 1.53 WHIP
You could pick either Josh Bell or Kyle Schwarber, the team’s two big offensive additions of the winter, but those guys aren’t getting paid $24 million to have an ERA over 7.00.
Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B
Key stats: .217 BA, 4 HR, .245 OBP
The then-rookie was a revelation last year, but his OBP is somehow down 155 points from 2020.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Key stats: .182 BA, 3 HR, .571 OPS
The Brewers were widely, and reasonably, praised for swiping Bradley for an under-market price. But for all his defense prowess, his offense is non-existent right now.
Cardinals: Matt Carpenter, INF
Key stats: .111 BA, 3 HR, .524 OPS
Carpenter wasn’t expected to be a regular this year, but he surely was expected to start better than 6-for-54.
Cubs: Kyle Hendricks, RHP
Key stats: 2-4, 6.23 ERA, 11 HR allowed
Lots of disappointments to go around for the Cubs right now, but the biggest has to be the top-10 2020 NL Cy Young finisher having an ERA over 6.
Pirates: Mitch Keller, RHP
Key stats: 2-3, 6.29 ERA, 1.69 WHIP
Keller has been a longtime prospect hopeful for the Pirates who was essentially just as good as Joe Musgrove was for Pittsburgh last year. He has not been as good as Joe Musgrove this year.
Reds: Eugenio Suárez, SS
Key stats: .130 BA, 5 HR, 47 K’s
There was a time that it looked like Suárez was an RBI leader waiting to happen. He is currently hitting .130.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Christian Walker, 1B
Key stats: 15 G, .193 BA, 1 HR
He has missed three weeks with an oblique strain, but the games he has appeared in have not gone well.
Dodgers: Gavin Lux, 2B
Key stats: .209 BA, 0 HR, .515 OPS
The Dodgers hoped this would be the year the path was finally cleared for him, but he hasn’t done much so far to take advantage of the opportunity.
Giants: Jake McGee, LHP
Key stats: 5.14 ERA, 8 saves, 10 GF
Lots of Giants are performing above what many had expected, but the free-agent closer they brought in during the offseason hasn’t been one of them.
Padres: Blake Snell, LHP
Key stats: 1-0, 4.15 ERA, 21 BB
Snell certainly hasn’t been bad, but I don’t know anyone who thought he’d be the third-best starter in this rotation.
Rockies: Charlie Blackmon, RF
Key stats: .231 BA, 2 HR, .695 OPS
The veteran has gotten off to about as slow a start this year as he got off to a fast start last year.