A.J. Pollock - OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
A.J. Pollock started the season off hot, winning National League Player of the Month honors in April. He continued that streak in May, slashing .298/.346/.511. On May 14 though, he fractured his thumb and has not yet returned to action.
After missing a large portion of 2016 and some of 2017 with injuries, Pollock will look to come back strong to prove he is worth a significant investment on the free agent market this offseason.
Trey Mancini - 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles
After struggling during the opening month of the season, things have only gotten worse for Trey Mancini. He hit only 4 home runs in May and slashed just .192/.280/.317. His .208 BAbip indicates some bad luck, but after having a tOPS+ of 126 in April it dropped to just 77 in May.
The Orioles currently own the worst record in the league, so Mancini is not the only one struggling on a bad team. Now through the second month of the season though, his struggles have become more worrying trend and less small sample size.
Jeff Samardzija - RHP, San Francisco Giants
Jeff Samardzija made five starts for the Giants for an 0-3 record with an ERA of 7.36. Samardzija’s SO/9 of 5.7 is not terrible, but his 1.591 WHIP and 1.08 SO/BB were not good and provide more insight into reasons for his struggles.
Samardzija left his start on May 29 with shoulder tightness and has not made another start since. After starting the season injured he will look to make a quick return in order to regain his form this season.
John Axford - RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Axford started the season strong in the Blue Jays bullpen, but struggled once the calendar shifted to May. He has posted a 5.73 ERA, allowing 7 runs in only 11.0 IP. His strikeout numbers have stayed strong, but his WHIP has ballooned to 1.545, which is not good for a relief pitcher.
The Blue Jays are struggling and are fading fast behind the Yankees and Red Sox, the two best teams in the league. If Axford can regain his early form it would go a long way to improving Toronto’s chances.
*All statistics from Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.