In the year of the home run, consistent pitching was hard to come by. A lot of pitchers struggled, including some who were typically considered some of the steadiest arms in the league. Well, with a fresh campaign on the horizon, here are five pitchers who faltered in 2019 but will be looking to bounce back in 2020.
5. Mike Foltynewicz
Folty was fantastic down the stretch for the Braves, but his abysmal first half simply cannot be ignored. He was so bad, in fact, he earned himself an extended trip to Triple-A Gwinnett until he could iron out the kinks. Well, an All-Star when in form, Foltynewicz will look to string together a full season of consistency and help the Braves push for the NL East crown once again. In 11 first half starts, Folty logged a 6.35 ERA and surrendered 16 home runs. Fast forward to the second half of the year, and across 10 outings, the right-hander had a 2.65 ERA and went 6-1. We know which version Braves fans are hoping to see in 2020.
4. Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz was expected to be a steady hand, ready to be called upon out of the Mets bullpen to close out the game. Instead, he proved as volatile as any pitcher in baseball, recording a horrendous 5.39 ERA and logging just 26 saves. Hoping to avoid another disastrous campaign, Diaz will be given another shot in the Mets' bullpen, where he'll hope to get a firmer grasp on the closer role. In 2018, Diaz shredded through batters en route to 57 saves and a pristine 1.96 ERA. That's more of what the Mets had in mind when they sold the farm for him.
3. Trevor Bauer
One year removed from an incredible breakout season, Bauer reverted well beyond the mean in 2019, struggling his way out of Cleveland, only to play even worse upon landing in Cincinnati. Well, he's back with the Reds in 2020, and hopefully a fresh start will allow Bauer to re-encapsulate the form that saw him fan 221 batters over 175 innings in 2018. He has Cy Young potential, but as we saw last year, he's prone to blowups -- in more ways than one.
2. Noah Syndergaard
Noah Syndergaard's injury history and 2019 struggles have many wondering if Thor has been rated a bit too highly throughout his career. After having a rough go of things last year, Syndergaard will be looking to prove he's a steady No. 2 behind Jacob deGrom in New York. He's shown he has what it takes to be an All-Star caliber pitcher in the past, and the Mets are hoping he can return to his previous form.
1. Chris Sale
Chris Sale said it himself, he was awful in 2019. Going from one of the league's most consistently dominant pitchers to recording a 4.40 ERA and winning just six games, Sale had the worst statistical season of his career last year. Well, the lefty is looking to put that all behind him, and will be doing his all to stay healthy and string together a Cy Young worthy campaign. Look out, folks, Sale will be on a mission this year.