Bounce Back Busts

Labelling players “busts” or “flops” may often seem harsh, but each and every season there are players that come up well short of expectations and have very disappointing campaigns.

In lots of cases that season signals a player is on the way out is the beginning of the end, while for others, bouncing-back is an option.

Injuries are often part of a below-par season so we have looked to avoid those and focus just on players who disappointed with their performance on the field and are more than capable of turning things around in 2013.

When he hit the free-agent market last season Heath Bell was hot property, especially as he had three straight 40-plus save seasons under his belt. He wound up signing a three-year, $27 million deal with the Miami Marlins as part of their busy offseason. But like the team in general he flopped big time, eventually losing his job to Steve Cishek. He has since been shipped off to Arizona where we think that he could thrive in a setup role under far less pressure than last season and could once again become a solid late-inning option.

Cameron Maybin was a former top prospect with the Tigers and Marlins; he finally had a breakout season of some sort in his first year with the Padres and that was enough for them to lock the 25-year-old up with a five-year, $25 million deal, and he responded with a dreadful season last year.

Overall his form last year looked rough but a closer look at the second half saw some solid figures and if he can build off that (and we suspect that he can) then he still has time to be part of the Padres’ season and have a rejuvenated season.

Was there a bigger fall from grace than the one suffered by two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum? He was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball coming into the season but then the wheels fell off big-time – and he became one of the worst starters in baseball. He found himself in the bullpen during the postseason where he thrived, allowing just three hits and one run while striking out 17 over 13 innings of work. However, if he can return to his Cy Young form you could expect to see him bounce back and improve on last season’s form.

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