Six weeks into the season, it’s too soon to panic — but it’s certainly time to worry about underachieving players. Here are a few whose slow starts have their teams concerned (statistics through Friday):
Indians: A leadoff hitter with a .286 on-base percentage is an offense-killer, but Michael Bourn has had it even worse. His 22 strikeouts are second on the team and, despite his (declining?) speed, he was only 2-for-4 as a base-stealer.
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Royals: It’s never pretty with Jeremy Guthrie, who has kept his ERA below 4.00 only once in the past seven seasons. But while the Royals have managed to win three of his five starts, his ERA just keeps climbing, and it’s now at 6.52 amid calls that he be dropped.
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Tigers: The lineup has been as productive as ever, making it easier for Detroit to hide third baseman Nick Castellanos’ surprisingly punchless bat. He’s hitting just .219, and just .179 in May, with two homers overall. His steadiness in the field and the Tigers’ lack of options might keep him in the lineup.
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White Sox: So many candidates, especially with four starters owning ERAs above 5.00. But Chicago’s offense — just 83 runs in 25 games! — is being smothered in part by Adam LaRoche’s disappointing start. They didn’t think they were signing a new Adam Dunn, but LaRoche had 32 strikeouts in 25 games and was hitting .212 with just three homers.