Last Year's MLB All-Stars Who Will Have Down Years in 2013

Mark MillerCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2013

Last Year's MLB All-Stars Who Will Have Down Years in 2013

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    A new season provides every MLB player with a new opportunity to add to the resume they've built up throughout their careers.

    Some players have less of a track record behind them, but something as simple as an All-Star nod can be all the motivation a player needs to put up impressive numbers as they look to help their team.

    Getting the vote to play in the Midsummer Classic can lead to unfair expectations, however, and oftentimes a player who makes an unexpected trip one season may find themselves watching the game on TV the following summer.

    Here are some 2012 All-Stars who may face an uphill battle when it comes to matching their previous stat line once again this season.

Curtis Granderson

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    With the number of blows the New York Yankees offense has been dealt in the past few months, the team will need to get everything it can out of the players it still has in the lineup.

    The power that Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson provide will certainly be missed early on. While Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira will help, the offense will need more.

    Granderson has been a very strong offensive contributor in the past, and while he may still have a great season once he gets back to 100 percent, any issues with his hand could hinder his efforts during the first half of the season.

Giancarlo Stanton

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    After unloading just about every piece of talent that they brought in just a year ago, there really isn't much room for positivity in the Miami Marlins clubhouse these days.

    Giancarlo Stanton is the lone star on a roster that was filled with stars just a year ago, and while he's one of the most dangerous offensive talents in the national league, without any protection in the lineup it could be difficult to see the pitches he'll need to put up All-Star numbers.

Jose Altuve

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    The Houston Astros have one of the youngest teams in baseball, and with stars like Carlos Lee and Wandy Rodriguez no longer with the team, it's probably hard for fans outside of the Houston area to identify many players.

    They do have a potential star in the making with Jose Altuve, who at just 5'5'' is no doubt one of the smallest players in the league.

    His efforts in 2012 were far better than what he was able to do in 2011, and with some great pitching in the AL West, Altuve will see some new looks in 2013 as the team looks to rebuild in its new division.

Melky Cabrera

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    Leading into the end of the summer, it looked like Melky Cabrera could be an MVP candidate and, in turn, work his way into a huge contract this offseason.

    But that all changed when he was handed a 50-game suspension in August after testing positive for a performance-enhancing supplement.

    He'll have plenty to prove as he looks to show everyone in baseball that his superb season wasn't due to the supplements, but if the pressure gets to be too much, Cabrera could very well fall short of the output he showed in 2012.

Jim Johnson

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    When you look at the top of the AL's saves list from last season, you'll see the AL East was once again represented with the top spot.

    No, you won't see Mariano Rivera, but rather Jim Johnson of the surprising Baltimore Orioles. He saved 51 games in 71 appearances last season, posting a 2.49 ERA.

    Those numbers were quite a departure from the first six years of his career, however, and while he could be headed for good things again in 2013, it's hard to believe he'll see another 50-plus-save effort this time around.

Carlos Ruiz

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    One of the bright spots for Philadelphia last season was the play of catcher Carlos Ruiz, who batted a career-high .325 in 114 games while appearing in his first All-Star Game.

    He'll be missed early on as he awaits his suspension to end, but the team will hope that there are others ready to pick up the offensive slack.

    Ruiz is one of the more underrated catchers in the league, and while his first All-Star appearance was a long time coming, he might not get the nod again in 2013 with the late start to his season.

Ian Desmond

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    The Washington Nationals had plenty of offensive talent in the lineup in 2012, although Ian Desmond's 25 home run output may have been the biggest surprise.

    After posting batting averages below .270 in each of his first two full seasons with only 18 home runs, Desmond's performance last season was definitely out of the box.

    It's quite possible that the season was a true coming-out party for Desmond, but a track record that shows less prowess at the plate might indicate he could regress somewhat in 2013.

R.A. Dickey

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    Just a year ago, the Toronto Blue Jays were struggling to stay afloat in the AL East, due mostly to a starting rotation that simply didn't stack up.

    With enough offensive weapons to get the job done, the front office embarked on a huge rotation makeover this offseason, headlined by the acquisition of reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey.

    Dickey was a 20-game winner for the first time in three seasons as a starter, and while he'll have the benefit of a strong offense behind him in 2013, seeing as dominant of a stat line this season may be a reach as the division boasts some of the best offensive talent in baseball.