MLB Players Who Already Look Much Worse Than Last Season

Brandon CroceAnalyst IApril 19, 2013

MLB Players Who Already Look Much Worse Than Last Season

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    The MLB season is less than a month old but a number of players might wish it was over already because of how they have started.

    These five players needed a fast start more than anyone because they were coming off down seasons last year.

    It's a long season and there is still a lot of games left to be played but with these players coming off a bad season, their slow starts have to be more of a concern for their teams. 

Brett Wallace

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    It only took seven games for Brett Wallace to be sent down to Oklahoma City, the Triple-A Houston affiliate, after his disastrous start. He only has one hit in 24 at-bats but more concerning than that is his 17 strikeouts.

    He is striking out in 70% of his at-bats.

    This has been a weakness of Wallace's game since being called up to the majors, striking out at a rate of once every three times up to the plate.

    He is still young, only 26, but this was his fourth attempt to stick with the Astros organization and it will be interesting to see if Houston will give him another shot later in the season.

Ubaldo Jimenez

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    Many thought that when Ubaldo Jimenez was traded from the Colorado Rockies to the Cleveland Indians that his numbers would get better leaving the hitter friendly Coors Field.

    That hasn't been the case and Jimenez has struggled since his breakout 2010 season when he went 19-8 and a 2.28 ERA with the Rockies.

    This year has been especially tough as Jimenez is 0-2 in three starts with a 11.25 ERA.

    He has given up 10 walks, 12 hits and 15 earned runs in 12 innings pitched. The Indians had high hopes entering this season but will need Jimenez to pitch effectively if they hope to compete for a division crown.

Tim Lincecum

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    Even a new haircut has not been able to snap Tim Lincecum out of his funk.

    He started the year off well getting a win by going five innings with four strikeouts and surrendering no runs. However, since that game he has given up 10 runs over his next two starts.

    That first game still raised some concern as he gave up seven walks.

    This start has to have the San Francisco Giants a little concerned about the idea of the former Cy Young winner regaining his pitching dominance. There isn't a whole lot of concern as a whole though because they were able to win the World Series without a dominating Lincecum.

    If he is able to pitch at a Cy Young level though, this team becomes even more threatening come playoff time.

Ichiro Suzuki

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    With all the injuries the Yankees have had to start the year, the Bronx Bombers need an effective Ichiro Suzuki to help bridge the gap until their stars are back.

    The Yankees have been able to get to a record above .500 to date and but will need to get more results from Ichiro if they hope for that to continue.

    Last season, Ichiro only hit .283 which would be a decent batting average for a majority of hitters. However, Ichiro is an exceptional hitter who has a career batting average of .322 and hit over .350 four times in his 12-year career.

    In 13 games this season, Ichiro only has two multi-hit games and has gone hitless in five of them.

    With the recent news that Derek Jeter will be out until after the All-Star Break, the Yankees will need Ichiro more than ever as the leadoff guy to help fill that void left by the shortstop.

Yunel Escobar

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    Yunel Escobar has seen his stock drop since he was traded away during the 2010 season, from the Atlanta Braves to the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Since that trade, Escobar has been traded on two other occasions and is now in his first season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

    He is not off to a good start with his new team, as he is only hitting .104 with three RBI while striking out 12 times.

    At 30 years old, Escobar could be running out of chances and will need to rebound quickly if he hopes to keep his spot as starting shortstop.