Running the Bases – AL Edition

AL East:

Baltimore:

The Orioles season has been odd when you look at their stats. Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Jimmy Paredes all are off to great starts at the plate. In terms of their pitching 3/5 of their rotation is doing well in Jimenez, Chen and Miguel Gonzalez. Their closer Zack Britton has been really good as well. But going into Saturday May 9th the Orioles found themselves in last place in the AL East at 12-15. Huh?

Boston:

The big worry for the Red Sox is their rotation. So far the performances from their starters have been poor, to say the least. Rick Porcello leads the staff with a 4.38 ERA. Then it’s Masterson at 5.18, Joe Kelly 5.72, Buchholz 6.03 & Miley 6.91. As good as Boston’s lineup is a team cannot make the playoffs with this kind of performance from their starters.

Tampa:

The Rays have been a nice surprise so far this year. Everyone thought this would be a retooling year for Tampa. But yet they find themselves at 16-14 in 2nd place in the AL East after their first 30 games. No hitter has been exceptional but the Rays have had a lot of solid contributions in their lineup. Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi are pitching like front of the rotation starters.

Toronto:

Like Boston the lineup is great and off to a strong start. But the Jays pitching both in the rotation and in the pen has been putrid. Toronto’s team ERA is 4.67. Considering how bad the Jays pitching has been being 15-15 after their first 30 games is a good place to be. Continue reading Running the Bases – AL Edition

AZ Diamondbacks Bullpen Issues

With the second month of the season underway for the Arizona Diamondbacks, this team should feel positive about what they have seen so far. At this time last year the Diamondbacks were 7 and 19 and were failing at hitting, pitching and defense. This season has seen improvement in all of those areas, as well as the calling of games by their catching staff; and their defense is the fourth best in baseball.

One concern that still needs to be addressed, and quickly, is their bullpen. The Diamondbacks’ bullpen is currently ranked 25th in baseball with an ERA at 4.32. Opposing teams are hitting .272 against them, which is currently last in the league, and the team is also last in the majors with only one save. They have blown three save opportunities in four chances, to go along with three wins against five losses. Another issue for this bullpen is that they are last in the National League and 27th overall in strikeouts, with only 61.

Currently, only Brad Ziegler and Randall Delgado have ERA’s under 4. Evan Marshall and Oliver Perez, who were consistent last year, have struggled. Marshall has had trouble locating his pitches, especially his changeup and curveball and he has given up three homeruns. He needs work on his ground ball outs and avoid giving up additional home runs. The Diamondbacks will need to keep Marshall in a bullpen role and, although they have not lost faith in him, they will be using him in less crucial situations while he works on his pitching issues. Continue reading AZ Diamondbacks Bullpen Issues

Running the Bases – NL Edition

Today going to focus on the senior circuit. Going to bring up some thoughts and observations in areas of concern for each team.

NL East:

Atlanta:

Good news is Shelby Miller looks like the pitcher from two years ago and then some. Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons look like All-Stars for years to come. But Alex Wood is struggling and so far the Braves have no answers at the back of their rotation.

Mets:

The Amazing’s lead the division but I see a number of areas of concern. I worry about this offense bringing in key runs in those one run games. The middle infield defense is poor with Flores at Short and Murphy at Second. How do you build a team with pitching and have poor defense up the middle in the infield? Finally going into the season I was worried about David Wright and Michael Cuddyer staying healthy for a full season. So far Cuddyer has stayed healthy but by the time Wright comes off the DL from his hamstring injury he will already have missed a month.

Miami:

The Marlins are starting to get together despite slow starts by Matt Latos and Steve Cishek. Also injuries to Henderson Alvarez and Christian Yelich haven’t helped. Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton have got this team back to .500 after a poor start. Continue reading Running the Bases – NL Edition