Entering the All-Star break, there are 16 teams that are either currently a playoff team or are 5.5 games or less out of a postseason spot.

Many of these teams remain in the playoff picture despite some players not living up to the expectations put on them entering the season. They have had much success in the past, and in 2017, but it has been a different story at the unofficial halfway point.

Here are five hitters and five pitchers who will be looking to bounce back from disappointing seasons thus far. They will look to change that during the remainder of the season.


  • Bryce Harper, Nationals

A free agent after this season, many people expected Harper to receive one of the highest annual contracts in MLB history. He was the National League MVP in 2015 and had an OPS north of 1.000 for the second time in three years in 2017. The 25-year-old has still shown some value this season as evidenced by his league-leading 78 walks and 23 home runs. Baseball fans can’t help it though to look past his unsightly .214 batting average. That is more than 100 points less than the .319 Harper hit last year. He still was named a starter in the All-Star Game and will take part in the Home Run Derby.

  • Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks

While Lamb’s .248 average in 2016-17 isn’t overly impressive, everything else he did made him one of the best offensive players at third base.

In those two years, he had 59 home runs, 61 doubles, 196 RBIs, and 151 walks. His average is down to .229 at the All-Star break, and Lamb only has eight doubles and six homers in 190 at-bats. He missed a month and a half of the season early on with a sprained left shoulder.

  • Evan Longoria, Giants

Longoria was a high-profile signing by the Giants in the offseason as they looked to become a postseason team again.

The 32-year-old was the face of the Rays’ franchise for much of his ten seasons there. He hit 241 home runs and 302 doubles in his tenure there. The third baseman is currently on the 10-day DL with a fractured hand and wasn’t producing as expected before the injury. Longoria is hitting .246 with just ten walks giving him a low .278 on-base percentage.

According to CBS Sports, Longoria is close to taking part in a rehab assignment and is hopeful to return in early August.

  • Marcell Ozuna, Cardinals

Ozuna was traded to the Cardinals in the offseason after a career-year with the Marlins in 2017. He won his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger during a season in which he hit .312 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs. His first season with St. Louis hasn’t gone as well through the All-Star break. His average sits at .268, and he has hit 10 home runs and nine doubles. He has just 20 extra-base hits in 351 at-bats after having 69 in 613 at-bats last year. Ozuna is walking on only 5.6 percent of his plate appearances which is down from 9.4 in 2017.

  • Gary Sanchez, Yankees

Sanchez took the baseball world in 2016 when he hit 20 home runs in 53 games and finished as the runner-up for American League Rookie of the Year.

He followed that up last year with a solid .278 average and 33 homers. Nobody could have expected he would be batting under the 'Mendoza Line' at the All-Star break which is where his .190 average puts him. Sanchez has struggled both at home (.195) and on the road (.186). He was hitting just .121 through 15 games in June when a groin strain forced him to the 10-day DL.

The Yankees now sit 4.5 games behind the Red Sox in the American League East and need a Sanchez resurgence if they want a better chance to overtake them.


  • Yu Darvish, Cubs

Darvish signed a huge six-year deal worth $126 million to join the Cubs. He owned a career 56-42 record entering this season with a 3.42 ERA and 11 strikeouts per nine innings.

While the 11 strikeouts per nine innings remain the same in his eight starts this year, it has otherwise been a disappointing year for Darvish. The four-time All-Star currently sits with a 1-3 record and 4.95 ERA. He is on the 10-day DL with right triceps tendinitis.

  • Jon Gray, Rockies

The third overall selection in the 2013 draft, Gray had a strong season last year which led many to believe a breakout season was in the horizon. In 20 starts in 2017, he went 10-4 with a 3.67 ERA. He hasn’t shown any expected improvement this year as his ERA is at 5.44 in 18 starts. Pitching home games at Coors Field isn’t easy, but Gray has actually been worse on the road with a 5.89 ERA in nine starts.

  • Rich Hill, Dodgers

The 38-year-old Hill has struggled to remain healthy but made 25 starts last year and went 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA and 166 strikeouts in 135.2 innings.

He had a 2.00 ERA in 24 starts from 2015-16. Things haven’t gone well this year, so much so that Hill recently was moved to the bullpen. He has a 4.55 ERA at the All-Star break and has allowed slightly more than a hit per inning.

  • Andrew Miller, Indians

Miller was one of the game’s most dominant relievers from 2014-17. Over that time, he owned a 1.72 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and struck out 421 hitters in 261 innings. He hasn’t pitched since May 25 due to knee inflammation this year but wasn’t the unhittable left-hander fans had grown accustomed to prior to the injury. In 17 appearances (14.1 innings), Miller has given up 13 hits, ten walks, and allowed seven earned runs.

According to MLB.com, Miller will begin his rehab assignment on Tuesday.

  • Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks

Ray was awesome for the Diamondbacks last season. In 28 starts, he went 15-5 with a 2.89 ERA and 218 strikeouts. He finished seventh in National League Cy Young voting. He has made 10 starts this year but has been hit much harder. Ray has an ugly 5.03 ERA and has allowed 10 homers in 48.1 innings. He’s also walking five batters per nine innings.