Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thoughts From The First Month

Yesterday marked the final day of April, which means that the first month of the MLB season has come and gone. It seems only fitting that I would reflect on the first month of the season, not only in terms of the Twins but the league as a whole.

  • Things in the AL Central are what I thought they would be up to this point in the season. The Twins appear to be the class of the division, driven mostly by solid starting pitching and an offense that appears to be one of the best in baseball. The Tigers aren’t too far behind and appear that they may be a bit “pesky” as the season continues. The only things that may be a bit different than I expected are that the White Sox starting pitching up until this point has been fairly sub-par, and the Indians may actually be the “cellar dweller” rather than the Royals.
  • Jon Rauch has stepped into the closer role nicely, and has had better success and better overall numbers than I expected. His numbers at this point are that he is 7 of 8 in save opportunities with an ERA of 1.80 and a K/BB ratio of 7/2. His lone blown save came against the Royals last Saturday in their 9-7 extra inning win, and Rauch actually earned the win.
  • Francisco Liriano is 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 27/10 over 29 innings. Enough said.
  • Orlando Hudson went 3 for 4 in last night’s 9-3 victory over the Indians to raise his batting average to .301. His season line now stands at .301/.387/.387. Denard Span’s batting average stands at a measly .211, but his on-base percentage is .339. With Span’s batting average likely improving as the season progresses, his presence at the top of the lineup with Hudson setting the table for Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, Kubel & Thome, this lineup will continue to score a ton of runs.
  • Roy Halladay is rolling. He is 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA, 2 complete games, and a K/BB ratio of 33/3 in 40 innings this year. This not only confirms that the switch from the AL to the NL is much easier for a pitcher, but also that I made the wrong choice in my preseason pick for the NL Cy Young.
  • We may be seeing a changing of the guard in the AL East. Of course the Yankees are going to be there, but with the Tampa Bay Rays looking like possibly the best team in baseball, the Boston Red Sox appear to be the odd man out in that division. They are off to a sub-par start at 11-12 and currently sit 4th in that division behind the Rays, Yankees and Blue Jays. Yes their starting pitching has been bad, but with how good the Rays and Yankees look, barring some sort of an injury, it doesn’t appear that the Red Sox will still be playing in October.
  • Finally, Paul Konerko is absolutely raking right now. He is currently leading the league in homeruns with 11, and slugging percentage at .784. His current line is .297/.413/.784. Those are some pretty impressive numbers, especially the homerun total when you consider the fact that he is only played in 22 games. He is currently on pace to hit 81 homeruns with 155 RBIs and score 96 runs. Obviously that won’t happen, but that doesn’t make his April any less impressive.

UPDATE: Roy Halladay pitched yet another complete game shutout Saturday afternoon, defeating the Mets 10-0 while striking out 6 and walking just 1 on 118 pitches. This now brings his season numbers to a record of 5-1 with an ERA of 1.47 and a K/BB ratio of 39/4 in 49 innings. Let's also not forget his measly WHIP of 0.878. I will say again, it appears that I picked the wrong NL pitcher as my preseason CY Young Winner.


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