MLB's Biggest Disappointments Through the Very Early Going

Sean FryeFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2013

MLB's Biggest Disappointments Through the Very Early Going

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    There are already some disappointing teams and players in the MLB despite the season still being very young. 

    The Toronto Blue Jays have struggled mightily out of the gate despite having the ninth-highest payroll in baseball.

    Injuries have also struck key players early in the season. 

    Zack Greinke, the Dodgers' new ace, is out for at least two months after breaking his collarbone in a fight. And Derek Jeter is out until at least the All-Star break after re-injuring his ankle. 

    The 2013 MLB season is still in its infancy. But if certain teams don't fix some of their developing trends now, it could be a long summer. 

The Toronto Blue Jays

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    The Toronto Blue Jays made plenty of moves this offseason to put themselves in a position to win come spring time. 

    The team made two big trades in the offseason. They traded with the Miami Marlins to acquire pitcher Josh Johnson, pitcher Mark Buehrle and shortstop José Reyes. The Blue Jays also made a deal with the New York Mets to acquire the 2012 National League Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey. 

    However, despite loading up on All-Stars, the Blue Jays are currently in the cellar of the American League East at 8-13, 5.5 games back of the division-leading Boston Red Sox. 

    Not only have the Blue Jays failed to win, they also lost Reyes until the All-Star break with a severely sprained ankle. 

    The Blue Jays are currently the third-worst hitting team in the league, with a team batting average of only .226. 

    Pitching hasn't been hardly any better for the team, as they rank 25th in team ERA with 4.43. 

    There is still plenty of time to fix the problems arising in Toronto. But the Blue Jays have to find a way to gel as a team quickly or they could lose a grip on the season early. 

Zack Greinke's Broken Collarbone

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    On April 11, Zack Greinke hit San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin with a pitch. Quentin approached him, Greinke threw down his glove and yelled something at Quentin, then Quentin charged. 

    A few seconds later, Greinke had suffered a broken collarbone in a bench-clearing brawl. He'll likely miss at least two months to recover. 

    Greinke just signed a $147 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the offseason, so suffering such a serious injury is certainly a disappointment in the early going. 

    Before the injury, Greinke had looked great in his two outings. Through 11.1 innings pitched, he only allowed two earned runs and seven hits.

    The Dodgers lost seven of their next eight games after the night of the fight and are currently 9-10 on the season. 

    Greinke's return, whenever that might be, will certainly be a boost for the Dodgers. But for now, they'll have to make due without their newly signed ace. 

Derek Jeter's Rehab

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    Through the initial parts of spring training, it appeared that New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter would be ready for Opening Day. 

    But Jeter continued to be plagued by an ankle fracture originally suffered in October, and he was eventually shut down through the final weeks of spring training and placed on the DL for Opening Day. 

    Now it appears that Jeter has a new fracture in the same ankle, and he will likely be out until at least the All-Star break. The perennial All-Star will reportedly need to use a walking boot yet again as part of his recovery. 

    The Yankees are fairing pretty well without Jeter, currently sitting on an 11-8 record and just 1.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. 

    But still, Jeter is one of the best shortstops in the game and the Yankees would surely love to have him back. 

The Los Angeles Angels Pitching Staff

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    The bats are still hot for the Los Angeles Angels. The team has the second-highest batting average in the league at .277, and they're also sixth in on-base percentage at .337. 

    But the pitching staff has failed to meet the efforts that Mike Trout, Howie Kendrick and Albert Pujols are putting up at the plate. 

    The Angels are in the bottom third of the MLB in most major pitching categories, including 28th in ERA (4.57), 28th in WHIP (1.48) and 24th in quality starts (8). 

    And the Angels have suffered in the win column because of their struggles on the mound. The Angels are 8-11 right now and 4.5 games back of the division-leading Texas Rangers. 

    The season is still early, but some changes in the rotation may already be necessary to save the Angels' season.