The second half of the 2023 season is in full swing and there is plenty of time for players who have struggled thus far to change the course of their campaigns.
Here are 12 players who need to step up for their respective teams in the second half.
All stats are through Sunday games.
What went wrong: In his first year with the Astros, Abreu posted the lowest batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage of his 10-year career. The power that earned him the AL MVP award in 2020 with 19 home runs in 60 games is gone; Abreu didn’t hit his first home run of 2023 until May 28.
Looking to the future: It could all go downhill from here for Abreu, who is currently in his age-36 season. But he hit .304 with an .824 OPS in 2022, receiving MVP votes on the negative ballot. Players often struggle in their first year with a new team; The Astros can weather a rough year with Abreu, but if he can get back into shape, he’d be a huge boost to Houston’s offense.
What went wrong: With a 4.17 ERA, Scherzer is in the midst of his worst season by that metric since 2011 with the Tigers. He is tied for 10th in home runs allowed by any pitcher in MLB this season, having already given up 18 home runs. Scherzer allowed at least one home run in seven straight starts from June 7 to July 9, posting a 5.63 ERA in that span.
Looking to the future: Scherzer pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed just one hit against the Dodgers on Sunday, a good start to his second half. its 3.62 expected effectiveness hints at further improvement during the second half. Given New York’s slim playoff hopes, the club needs Scherzer (and justin verlander) in top form from here on out.
What went wrong: Manoah was sent down to the rookie-level Florida Complex League after a dismal start to his 2023 season. He allowed seven runs and recorded just one out in his last outing on June 5 before being demoted, posting a 6.36 ERA. Manoah’s strikeout rate has dropped, his walk rate has skyrocketed and he’s been hit as hard as almost any starting pitcher, a tough combination.
Looking to the future: Manoah’s first start for the Blue Jays on July 7 was promising, as he allowed one run in six innings against the Tigers while striking out eight batters. If he can right the ship, it’ll be great for a Blue Jays rotation that doesn’t yet have Hyun Jin Ryu. Manoah, who finished third in voting for the 2022 AL Cy Young Award, could help Toronto, currently sitting in the second wild card spot in the AL, reach the postseason.
What went wrong: Currently hitting just .232 with a .307 on-base percentage, Correa is on pace for career lows in both departments. He has hit 18 double plays, the most in the MLB and tied for his best in a season. His average exit velocity has dropped and his 22.8% strikeout rate is his highest since 2019.
Looking to the future: Correa has had down years like this in the past, seeing his numbers drop sharply in 2018 and 2020. It could continue to be a tough season for one of the best hitters in a Twins lineup that ranks in the bottom 10 in the majors in OP. If Minnesota hopes to hold on to the AL Central, it will need more of its starting shortstop.
What went wrong: By virtually any measure, Turner is having his worst season at the plate since his rookie year in 2015. A career .316 hitter against fastballs, Turner is hitting just .255 against them in 2023. He’s seen a similar decline against fastballs, hitting just .173 against off-speed pitches this year compared to a .283 career average.
Looking to the future: Turner has compiled six multi-hit games since June 29, a sign his 2023 season might be starting to turn around. The Phillies could certainly use a great second half to their big free-agent acquisition as they battle to stay in the postseason.
What went wrong: Rodriguez still did enough to earn his second All-Star nomination in as many seasons, but he hasn’t been the hitter he was in 2022. His batting average and OBP have each dropped more than 30 points, while his slugging percentage has dropped further. 100 points last year.
Looking to the future: Rodriguez’s underlying numbers suggest his performance in 2023 is pretty much in line with his AL Rookie of the Year campaign in 2022. It remains to be seen if his luck will turn, but if it does, Seattle could make a much-needed increase in the classification.
What went wrong: Stanton, who missed much of the first half with a hamstring injury, played only 44 games in 2023. But he still hasn’t been himself, posting a worst-ever .288 on-base percentage. career walk of 8.2%. and a .747 OPS, the lowest of his career.
Looking to the future: Stanton can carry a team when it’s hot, and the Yankees’ offense is still lacking. aaron judge – is in dire need. The slugger’s home run Saturday at Colorado could be the start of a critical stretch for a Yankees team trailing in the wild-card race.
What went wrong: After winning the 2022 NL Cy Young Award through a dominating season, Alcantara has had a tough 2023. The right-hander has lost the feel of what was an elite trade last season, and last year’s 2.28 ERA has more than doubled to 4.64 in 2023.
Looking to the future: The Marlins have managed to stay 11 games over .500 despite Alcantara’s difficult year. If he can find his trade and get back into shape, he can help Miami clinch a wild-card spot.
What went wrong: Like Alcántara, Pérez has seen a massive increase in his ERA: from 2.89 in 2022 to 4.84 this season. His strikeout rate is down 6 percentage points, dropping to the fourth percentile among MLB pitchers, and a sinker who produced solid results last season is getting hit hard in 2023.
Looking to the future: With the additions of Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney, Pérez doesn’t have to carry as much of a burden in the Rangers’ rotation. Still, Texas would like to get more production from the veteran lefty as he continues his AL West run with the Astros.
What went wrong: Simply put, Adames is hitting the ball less hard than he was in 2022. His hard-hit rate is down from 43.6% to 35.3%, and his average exit velocity is down nearly 2 mph. That has led to Adames’ average dropping to .212 and a 47-point drop in his slugging percentage.
Looking to the future: Statistics Streaming Metrics they suggest Adames has been better than the results show, and he’s not that far from his 2022 batting line. A hot second half could really help the Brewers, who are fighting for the NL Central title. ; Milwaukee is tied for the fifth-worst average and fifth-worst OPS in the majors.
What went wrong: A tough 2023 for Urías has been driven by an increase in the rate of those affected and barrel rate against the lefty. The Dodgers’ Opening Day starter has a 4.35 ERA, not what LA needed amid a spate of rotation injuries. Urías himself was on the IL from May 20 to July 1 with a hamstring injury.
Looking to the future: Other than his ERA, nothing has been different for Urías in 2023, as his strikeout and walk rates are in line with recent seasons. Urías started the second half with six one-hitter innings Friday against the Mets, a start that should have Dodgers fans optimistic about the lefty’s ability to lead Los Angeles’ rotation.
What went wrong: A career-low 4.5% walk rate hasn’t helped Mountcastle, who posted just a .266 on-base percentage in 2023. He’s hitting more ground balls and fewer line drives, a key reason for his OPS .689 this season.
Looking to the future: There is reason for optimism with Mountcastle, who advanced metrics consider one of the MLB’s Unluckiest Hitters this season. If he can reverse his fortunes and put together a great second half, he could help the Orioles topple the Rays for the AL East crown.