For all the things that could go wrong this year, they could easily go wrong too. The concerns that J.P. Crawford can’t hit in the majors turn out to be true as he fails to hit for average. Scott Kingery turns out to need more time in Triple-A before he is ready to hit in the majors. All Jorge Alfaro can do is strike out while Rhys Hoskins hits a major sophomore slump.
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Injuries decimate the starting rotation as Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez fail to stay healthy yet again. Jake Arrieta continues his decline as we all feared. Aaron Nola isn’t able to replicate his success from 2017.
Luis Garcia and Adam Morgan’s 2017 seasons turn out to be flukes as they return to league-average performance. Tommy Hunter’s career season last year turns out to be his peak while age finally starts taking its toll on Pat Neshek.
The other young pitchers in the bullpen aren’t able to pick up the slack as it becomes just as unreliable as it was to start the 2017 season.
Ultimately, the team isn’t able to improve much from their 66-win season last year. They may clear 70 wins, but they will be out of wild-card contention by the deadline and wind up selling yet again.