Category: Boston Red Sox

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Players In Need of a Rebound in 2024

The beauty of baseball is the ebb and flow that players can experience year to year. When they are at the top of their game, it is exhilarating, but when they struggle it can be a frustrating endeavor which can make a rebound so much sweeter on the other side. However, there can be the added pressures of injuries on top of lucrative contracts that can affect players in different ways. 2023 was a rough year for a lot of players and some have now signed with new teams while others are still trying to find their footing with their current clubs. Here are a few players in need of a rebound of some kind in 2024.

Carlos Rodón, New York Yankees

The New York Yankees swung big when they signed Carlos Rodón to a six-year, $162 million contract. Unfortunately for both the Yankees and Rodón, his first year in pinstripes was a forgettable one. A forearm strain shut him down for the first three months of the season and when he did finally take the mound, he was not the Rodón that had dominated with the San Francisco Giants just one year prior. In 14 games he posted a 6.85 ERA, allowing 49 earned runs in 64 1/3 innings. He surrendered 15 home runs and had 64 strikeouts against 28 strikeouts. It’s important to the Yankees that Rodón returns to form and helps put their rotation worries to rest in 2024.

Trevor Story, Boston Red Sox

It’s been a disappointing two seasons in Boston for Trevor Story. After a breakout start to his career in Colorado, Story signed a lucrative six-year deal $144 million deal with the Red Sox in 2022. While that season was disappointing, he still showed signs of why they signed him. However, he missed the majority of the 2023 season as a result of right elbow surgery. He finally made his season debut in August but struggled in his 43 games down the stretch. He batted just .203/.250/.316 with three home runs with a whopping 55 strikeouts to just nine walks. He has shown plenty of power and speed with the Red Sox but has been limited to just 137 games over two seasons. The team is rumored to continue looking for ways to reduce payroll, meaning 2024 is crucial for Story to give the Red Sox a reason to keep him, or at the very least give them some value to trade him elsewhere.

Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies 

The Colorado Rockies signing of Kris Bryant to a seven-year $182 million contract will go down as one of the biggest head scratches in recent memory in MLB history. As the Rockies have continued to flounder, Bryant has been hindered by the injury bug in his past two seasons with the club. He has only played in 122 total games as a Rockie and has clubbed just 15 home runs. In 2023 Bryant was able to play in half of his teams games but batted just .233/.313/.367 with a 76 OPS+. He hit 10 home runs and drove in 31 runs and has shown quality plate discipline, but he has been nowhere near the MVP he once was. Bryant has been a valuable figure in the clubhouse, but he will need to look to rebound for a full season in 2024 to start returning on the investment for the Rockies. With a permanent home at first base now in the cards, the Rockies hope that Bryant can stay healthy and lead a team that is quickly becoming younger.

Daniel Bard, Colorado Rockies

Sticking with the Rockies (because that’s the team I follow the closest), is the need for reliever Daniel Bard to rebound in 2024. The story of his return to baseball has been incredible and inspiring. He has had some ups and downs with the Rockies the past four seasons but has generally been a solid reliever, perhaps no better than his 2022 season in which he posted a 1.79 ERA in 60 1/3 innings with 69 strikeouts and 25 walks to go along with his 34 saves. Unfortunately, 2023 was an immense struggle for Bard. His struggles arose during the World Baseball Classic where his command seemed to disappear out of nowhere, a problem that continued throughout the season. Bard issued 49 walks against 47 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings. He managed a respectable 4.56 ERA last season, but there remain concerns for Bard in the final year of the two-year extension he signed in 2022. Anxiety put him on the injured list early in 2023 and there are lingering concerns that the ‘”yips” have returned for him. The Rockies are counting on Bard to return to form and stabilize the bullpen further.

José Abreu, Houston Astros

The Houston Astros made a big signing following their World Series victory in 2022 by signing José Abreu to a three-year, $58.5 million contract. Abreu had enjoyed plenty of success in his previous nine seasons with the Chicago White Sox, including an MVP award in 2020, but his first year was shaky in Houston. He managed to play in 141 games and drove in 90 runs, but had a career-low .237/.296/.383 slash line with an 87 OPS+. He did still manage 18 home runs and did improve down the stretch and had a big postseason as Houston reached the American League Championship Series for the seventh straight year, but there needs to be more from the veteran. It won’t need to be a drastic rebound, but Abreu can’t feel like a heavy burden or liability.

Tyler Anderson, Los Angeles Angels

With Shohei Ohtani now on the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Angels need all hands on deck to improve the starting rotation. They bought in on the improvement of Tyler Anderson after 2022 when he posted a career-best 2.57 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP over 178 2/3 innings in his first All-Star season, signing him to a three-year $39 million contract. His first season with the Halos was disappointing to say the least as he posted a 5.43 ERA with a 1.49 WHIP and a 1.86 K/BB ratio across 141 innings. A career-high in walks didn’t help his case, but Anderson still has a keen ability to limit hard contact and can get strikeouts as needed. While he won’t be the difference maker for the Angels, it will be important for the team that everyone in the starting rotation takes steps forward, especially the veteran Anderson.

 

 

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