The AL Central's mediocrity thus far in 2018 is fueled in part by some disappointing starts by players who were being counted upon as lineup or rotation cornerstones. Here's a look at the slowest starts:
Indians: Jason Kipnis is a two-time All-Star, but he's been terrible for two months now, batting .178 in April, and following up with .176 in May, and just one homer all year. Kipnis lost his No. 2 spot in the lineup on May 11, and with a .268 on-base percentage, he may be on the verge of losing his starting job completely.
Royals: Long ranked a Top 10 prospect, Cheslor Cuthbert appeared ready to take over third base full time in 2016, launching 12 homers at age 23. KC hoped he would replace some offense they lost with the departures of Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer, but the results have been anemic: .194 with only two doubles and seven RBI thus far.
Tigers: When they gave him $110 million over five years, the Tigers expected Jordan Zimmermann to be their ace. But the righthander — still owed $50 million after this year — has been a bust, hampered by injury and ineffectiveness. His 4.88 ERA is better than last year's 6.08, but shoulder pain has shelved him all month.
White Sox: Outfielder Avisail Garcia had a breakthrough 2017, becoming an All-Star at age 26 and posting a .330 average and .885 OPS. But those numbers plunged in the season's first month to .233 and .565; then a hamstring strain sidelined him until June. Now Chicago is questioning whether 2017 was an aberration.