Certain players carry certain expectations. For the best of them who struggle, call it being a prisoner of their own success.

But it's always noteworthy when someone we know to be a good player goes a stretch without showing it.

This is bound to happen in the ebb and flow of a 162-game season. Most hitters will go through cold spells at the plate. Pitchers will struggle with command or simply not have it some days.

In this exercise, we'll look at 10 struggling MLB players, with the context of what their respective teams expect from them and their track record for success.


RHP Jose Berrios, Toronto Blue Jays

Nearly one year since the Minnesota Twins dealt their ace to the Blue Jays, Jose Berrios is having his worst season since he was a rookie in 2016.

His last two starts in June were particularly concerning. Berrios, whose ERA at the time was already at 4.65, gave up a combined 14 earned runs, including five home runs, in 6.2 innings against the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers.

When the Blue Jays traded for Berrios midway through last season, he largely showed himself to be the pitcher they were trying to acquire. His 3.58 ERA in 12 starts for Toronto last year looked a lot like the 3.48 ERA through 20 starts with the Twins. His strikeout numbers even went up a tick.

But after signing a seven-year, $131 million extension in November, Berrios has posted his highest ERA (5.72) and opposing batting average (.287) since 2016.

He showed some improvement with Friday's win against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing two runs on eight hits in five innings.

Berrios did not record a single clean inning, but he worked out of jams and will get another shot Wednesday in Oakland, where the Athletics have the worst OPS in baseball. Expect the A's to be the remedy that gets Berrios back on track to become a key component of the Jays' playoff push.


SS J.P. Crawford, Seattle Mariners

J.P. Crawford, a Gold Glove winner in 2020, started the season primed for his first All-Star campaign.

Through 21 games in April, the 27-year-old had a 1.022 OPS and slashed .360/.449/.573. He was always bound to regress to the mean, considering those numbers were nowhere close to his career average.

But the regression from month to month has been steep. The slash line dropped to .247/.340/.326 in May and then .202/.263/.289 in June.

Now that Crawford has completed a four-game suspension stemming from the epic brawl with the Los Angeles Angels, he can put the struggles and distractions behind him.

Crawford isn't quite the hitter he was in April, but he's better than what he's produced recently and should show that going forward.