The Major League Baseball regular season is incredibly (and joyously) long, but it's never too early to start finding reasons to worry about your favorite team.

As the axiom goes: You can't win a pennant in April, but you sure can lose one.

Every team has some early cause for nervousness, though.

You might need to squint a little to see it for the 18-3 Tampa Bay Rays, and it might be hard to single out just one main problem with the 4-17 Oakland Athletics. However, we've highlighted one cause for concern with every team after 20-ish games.

Teams are broken up by division and presented in alphabetical order within the division. Statistics and records are current through the start of play Sunday unless otherwise noted.


American League East

Baltimore Orioles: The RF/DH situation is a bit of a mess

The hope is that Anthony Santander—after hitting 33 home runs last season—is just in a bit of an early funk and will eventually rally from a slow start. But between Santander and the substantially less established Terrin Vavra and Ryan McKenna, the O's have gotten next to nothing out of their RF and DH spots on a daily basis. (Except for the games when Adley Rutschman is at DH with James McCann catching. However, then they've got a .167 hitter at catcher, so that's no better.) But help could be on the way if 2021 first-round pick Colton Cowser is ready for his MLB debut in the near future.


Boston Red Sox: Starting rotation ranks among the worst in the majors

Seven different pitchers have made at least one start for Boston, and not one of them has done so with either an ERA or a FIP better than 4.25. Chris Sale's ERA is sitting at 8.00. Corey Kluber is at 8.50. And it wasn't until the 16th game of the season that the Red Sox finally tallied their first quality start. The "glass half full" perspective is that they've been able to piece together an 11-11 record despite the near-constant poor pitching, and they might go on a tear once balls start finding gloves with more regularity. But it's also possible/likely that poor pitching will keep the Red Sox in the AL East basement.


New York Yankees: Poor hitting remains a problem

In going 38-40 over the final 78 games of last season, the Yankees hit .239 as a team—.227 if you remove Aaron Judge doing everything in his power to carry the rest of the squad. And save for Anthony Rizzo looking like he might be an All-Star for the first time since 2016, it has been more of the same in the Bronx, with just about everyone batting .250 or worse. At least both Gleyber Torres and Anthony Volpe are reaching base via walks with regularity, but New York is hitting .229 overall, struggling to support a starting rotation that is still waiting on Carlos Rodón and Luis Severino to get healthy enough to take the mound.


Tampa Bay Rays: Pitching health

A dozen different Rays have already hit multiple home runs, as Tampa Bay is slugging its way through a historically dominant month of April. But they lost Jeffrey Springs for the year to Tommy John surgery, were already down Shane Baz for the year as he recovers from a TJ of his own, won't be getting Tyler Glasnow (oblique) back until at least mid-May and have already had Zach Eflin make one trip to the IL. It has been a fun start to the year, but do/will they have the pitching needed to make a run in October?


Toronto Blue Jays: Second base is a black hole

Whit Merrifield makes occasional starts at second base and has been hitting the ball quite well. However, for the most part, it has been Santiago Espinal against left-handed starters and Cavan Biggio against right-handed starters. And with the former batting .114 and the latter batting .111 for the season, it might already be time to explore other options.