1-Man’s Opinion on Sports-Thursday “Baseball–Mid Season Report Card”

Posted by on July 15th, 2021  •  0 Comments  • 

“Baseball–Report Card”

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We start the second half of the baseball season on Friday.

Pennant races, the baseball trading deadline, the dog days of August all ahead of us.

A look back, and a midseason report card on each team:
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(NL East)

METS..Hanging onto first place despite the ailments of Jacob deGrom, no Noah Syndegaard, the loss of Joey Lucchesi and the loss of 3-starting outfielders for an extended period of time with injuries.  Yes Peter Alonso and Francisco Lindor are hitting, but they need health to win the division.  Grade (B)

PHILLIES…How can you have Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto in the heart of the lineup and struggle to play .500 ball?  Pitching issues plague them.  Grade (C)

ATLANTA…Walking wounded everywhere and now you lose superstar Ron Acuna for the year.  What a cruel season.  Never got out of spring training healthy, a myriad of pitching problems, and now no-Acuna.  Devastating summer.  Grade (C),

WASHINGTON…What wreckage, what a shame there is not alot around Juan Soto, the star.  Never replaced Anthony Rendon, and ailments taking a toll on Stephen Strasburg, who looks an old 30-years of age.  Max Scherzer can’t pitch everyday.  Organization has let this team slip.  Grade (D)

MIAMI…Low budget, young kids, bunch of journeymen and force feeding alot of kids arms.  Not sure Derek Jeter blueprint works.  Grade (D)

(NL Central)]

MILWAUKEE…This is a surprise at this moment.  No Ryan Braun-in retirement.  Hardly had Lorezno Cain all year.  But the most under-rated pitching staff in baseball led by Brandon Woodruff.  Can they get to the finish line?  Grade (A)

CINCINNATI…Lots of bats, hitting home runs in a band box stadium.  Starting pitching has the shakes.  Bullpen has been bombed.  Somehow David Bell has a team in the hunt for a wildcard berth.  Grade (B).

CUBS…Season emotionally caved when ownership decided not to negotiate extensions with Anthony Rizzo-Kris Bryant-Javy Baez.  Pitcing has been a problem too.  Not alot of happiness at Wrigleyville, especially if they become a ‘seller’ at the trade deadline.  U-turn in philosophy is ugly.  Grade (C)

CARDINALS…Falling on hard times with injury seige to pitching staff.  Fun lineup led by Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt and the ever reliable Yadier Molina.  Have a better pitching staff on DL than on field.  Tough year for great franchise.  Grade (C)

PIRATES…In rebuilding mode for umpteeth time with new leader Ben Cherrington.  Keep trading players.  Low payroll in beautfiul ballpark.  Pittsburgh fans deserves better than this.  Grade (D)

(NL West)

GIANTS…Who saw this coming with the GM and the manager?  How long can they keep this up?  Plug in pitching.  Plug in free agent rentals.  Waiting for more from farm system, but you cannot take away the 57-wins they already have  Grade (A)

DODGERS…Waiting to see if they topple.  Suspension likely coming to Trevor Bauer.  Clayton Kershaw ailing.  The loss of Dustin May.  An aging bullpen.  Trying to survive poor first half from injured stars like Cody Bellingeer and Mookie Betts and nothing from Corey Seager.  Will they be a ‘buyer’ at the trade deadline?  Could be a great season, could be hot second half, or could be beginning of end of dynasty.  Grade (B)

PADRES…A great first half of the season, tons of emotional highs, but a fear that a real downer of a finish is coming, with a pitching staff operating on fumes and with so many ailments.  Can bats of Tatis-Machado-Grisham-Myers-Pham-Cronenworth carry them without quality pitching?  Stay tuned.  Grade (A)

ROCKIES..Ownership betrayed the fans and left Bud Black with half a pitching staff, half a batting order, and impending free agents who might be traded.  An awful business model in a market that once upon a time drew 4M fans.  Grade (D)

DIAMONDBACKS…You don’t lose 5-of-6 top starting pitchers and have any hope at all.  Never seen a modern day team lose 24-straight on the road and have 13-and-14 game losing streaks in a row in two segments of the season.  Disgrace what the franchise has become.  Grade (F)

(AL East)

RED SOX…You drive to first place without Chris Sale?  You plug in so many different guys who can hit home runs and support Devers and Bogaerts and you get quality surprise pitching and you are atop the division.  Never expected this.  Grade (A)

TAMPA BAY…Best organization in baseball at developing talent, and despite pitching injuries.  Too bad fans don’t show up for home games.  Grade (A)

YANKEES…Wonder if someone pays the price for this fall from grace, either the GM or the Manager?  Stanton, Judge, Sanchez, big time bats, big payroll and poor pitching.  NY not a playoff team?  Could happen.  Grade (C)

TORONTO…So hard on the Blue Jays, not having home games in Canada, but rather Dunedin and now Buffalo.  What a young lineup, and we have not seen a totally healthy George Springer yet.  Could be a surge team second half of season.  Grade (B)

ORIOLES…How hard is it to rebuild in this division considering who you have to play.  Making progress with young kids like Mullens-Mountcastle but not enough pitching.  This takes time, but this all falls on ownership of the Angelos family.  Grade (D)

(AL Central)

WHITE SOX…Been building towards this for the last four years.  Great cross section of young talent, and they have done this without Luis Robert. Names like Anderson-Vaughn-Moncada-Mercedes have really made a difference.  A strong rotation has helped too.  Grade (B)

INDIANS…Losing Shane Bieber will be a killer to that staff.  The trade of Lindor seems so unfair to what was a good team.  Ownership operating with a mid-level budget and made this a .500-team in what used to be a vibrant market.  Grade (C)

TIGERS…Don’t look at the record yet, just look at the emergence of a good young pitching staff.  Think they are about to put all the losing years behind them led by all these arms.  Grade (B)

TWINS…Horrible summer of heat-humidity and bad baseball.  Last year’s roster of home run hitters did not perform the first half.  The pitching rentals of last year haven’t produced this year.  Real underachieving and disappointing season.  Grade (D)

ROYALS…All the cornerstone players they built around are now gone, replaced by a mishmash of mid level veterans.  Not a lot of young gems on the pitching staff either.  Franchise continues to flounder.  Grade (D)

(AL West)

ASTROS…They may be hated, they may have lost some players to free agency, but they are in first place thanks to a still potent lineup.  Tied for best record in baseball with the Red Sox considering the age and injuries and defections.  May not go far in post season.  Grade (B)

A’s…Another good regular season by a bunch of home run hitters and a collection of good young pitchers.  Pending Stadium decision is still to come, Anyone in the that lineup, around Olson-Chapman can hurt you.  Billy Beane philosophy of building roster works in regular season, but can it work in postseason?  Has not yet.  Grade (B)

ANGELS…Showtime Shohei-that’s what this team is all about.  Were it not for Ohtani, franchise would be buried.  For them to be around .500 without Mike Trout, with Albert Pujols gone, and with substandard pitching, is amazing.  That’s why they draft 20-pitchers with 20-draft picks this week.  Hanging on in the wildcard race.  Grade (B)

MARINERS…Kids on roster playing well, pitching staff still thin.  Just feels like team has a roster of players coming and going on tryouts, but they are a shade above .500.  Grade (C)

TEXAS…Zero pitching to support some good hitting.  Joey Gallo is a star, so is Adonis Garcia , but this feels like beginning of a lengthy rebuild
Grade (D)

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