“BASEBALL REPORT CARD”
1st days of summer, time for mid-season evaluation baseball.
PADRES….A solid first half from the collection of young arms they stockpiled. By August this team could have as many as 7-starting pitchers you can trust in the rotation. Shall be interesting to see if they try to move Wil Myers, an enigma, at the trading deadline to someone in the American League. Eric Hosmer-Manny Machado strong seasons. Fernando Tatis emerging rookie star.
DODGERS…Great 1st half, despite little input from 3B-Justin Turner, not having a star at 2nd base and revolving door at catcher. Frontline starting pitchers superb, a different Clayton Kershaw, a healthy Hyun Jin-Ryu, Kenta Maeda and Walker Beuhler, but now they’ve lost Rich Hill. Bullpen the issue going forward. Losing Corey Seager hurts for the next 6-weeks. Good enough to play in Fall Classic if healthy.
ANGELS…How much can Mike Trout do by himself? GM-Billy Eppler burned alot of money (20M) and gotten virtually nothing from investments in Matt Harvey-Trevor Cahill and since released Cody Allen. Great bounceback year from Shohei Ohtani, and now Justin Upton back from disabled list. But those guys can’t pitch..
YANKEES…50-wins already with a better team on the DL than on active roster. Now you get Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorious, Gary Sanchez back, though Miguel Andujar gone for extended time. Very good batting order, now we see if there’s a deal coming for more pitching.
TAMPA BAY…No-name offense that produces. Young pitching staff, though longterm loss of Tyler Glasnow hurts. Sadly, no-one coming to see Rays at Tropicana Field, so now we deal with these ‘Montreal move’ rumors.
BOSTON…Not the same team as a year ago, especially in the home run hitting department. Chris Sale finally healthy, but back of rotation thin, bullpen thinner too. Waiting for power department to flip a switch. Think about JD Martinez, Betts, Devers, Benetendi, Bogaerts and more. Still think they will hit before it’s over.
HOUSTON…Lots of bats, pitching has been beaten up with nagging injuries, but now they are getting healthy. Altuve, Springer, Correa, Bregman and the cast, look ready to regain superior standing in American League.
MINNESOTA…has to be surprise team of season. Nelson Cruz-CJ Cron short rentals making a big difference, especially with long term ailment that kept Miguel Sano out months and months. Max Keplar and others unsung heroes, and a starting staff no one can name.
TORONTO…Vlad Guerrero has arrived, but with a rotation built around Aaron Sanchez and old men Clayton Richard-Edwin Jackson, you knew it might not be a good year. Thank goodness for the Raptors and Maple Leafs.
CLEVELAND…Way for ownership to tear down first place team, and then watch three of starting five in the rotation go on the disalbled list. No wonder fans don’t show up. Tough year for Terry Francona.
A’S…Didn’t have enough pitching last year in the 90-win season, have even less this year, with Sean Manaea yet to return. Khris Davis and Stephen Piscotty strong seasons, but streaky team this year.
TEXAS…Not sure what we are seeing in Metroplex. Good everyday young players, Gallo-Odor-Guzman etc, but not enough pitching. Guess you could call this a transition year or two there.
WHITE SOX…Half way thru a rebuild, and do like Eloy Jiminez and Yoan Moncada and old man Jose Abreu, but really need more pitching to take it to next level.
SEATTLE…How did this team ever go (13-2) out of the box? Likely to deal more people away at the deadline following trade of Edwin Encarnarcion. Not having vintage Felix Hernandez, having traded James Paxton, what did you expect? Lots of money to Japanese veteran Yusei Kikuchi-not great results yet. GM-Jerry DiPoto should be on the hot seat.
DETROIT…This will be a long time fix. 4-of-5 top starting pitchers are on the disabled list. Not alot of young everyday stars have arrived yet at Comerica Park. They need Michael Fulmer back healthy..they need 1st round pick Casey Mize to arrive sooner than later
KANSAS CITY….Nice years are over, the ones with Eric Hosmer, Mike Moutstakas, Alex Gordon. Losing all star C-Sal Perez in spring destroyed hopes. Roster devoid of talent, but farm system may deliver shortly. Can GM-Drayton Moore suvvive all this?
ORIOLES….Headed for a disastrous season again, considering last year’s 115-loss campaign. Better hope new GM-Mike Elias knows how to scout. This will take forever for Baltimore fans to embrace..
PHILLIES….The excitement over the 330M-signing of Bryce Harper wore off after the first month, when he was dragging a (.246) batting average around. Rhys Hoskins and others have hit better with him in the lineup, but the pitching after Aaron Nola has been hurt more than anything. Disappointment of a season for sure. Is Gabe Kaplar the right leader?
CUBS..Has taken them half a year to get everyone healthy, and now they are hitting. Javy Baez having star-season, to help Anthony Rizzo-Kris Bryant. Starting rotation solid, but not dominant despite Jon Lester-Cole Hamels. Bullpen torn apart by injuries. Just not a full team yet. Wonder if Joe Madden job in jeopardy?
BRAVES…Kids have arrived and flourishing around Freddie Freeman. Josh Donaldson bounce back season. Ron Acuna and young friends hitting well. Starting pitching gets a boost with Dallas Keuchel arrival. Could be a force by the end of the season.
ROCKIES….Hanging tough with troubled pitching staff beyond ace Jon Gray. Kyle Freeland disappeared after last year breakout season. Different type of batting order around Nolan Arenado, but could still be in wildcard race if arms bounce back to equal bats.
CARDINALS…a struggle of a first half with injuries to pitching staff, and not alot of support for Paul Goldschmidt. But Marcel Ozuna, Matt Carpenter, Dexter Fowler and others can heat up and make a difference in the second half. Issues with Carlos Martinez-Adam Wainwright really hurt team.
BREWERS….Last year’s ‘Cindarella’ team has seen wheels fall off a bit. Christian Yelich tremendous superstar season, but team not hitting consistently around him. Mike Moustakas solid addition, Yasmani Grandal-streaky addition. Need to find more pitching to support ace Brandon Woodruff. Waiting for entire batting order to come together.
WASHINGTON….Stunned to see a season of struggles, with a big three pitching rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasbug, Patrick Corbin, but alot of money tied up in pitching. Bullpen has been disaster-disgrace. Jury still out on manager Dave Martinez too. Organization has slipped after good job done by Mike Rizzo early.
METS…Wasting a season with Noah Syndegaard-Jacob deGrom at the top of the rotation. Tremendous rookie season from free swinging Peter Alonso, but devastating injuries to Yoenis Cespedes, Robbie Cano, Todd Frazier set this team back. Still to be decided, is Mickey Calloway right guy to be manager?
REDS…Better first half than anyone thought, and still not dominant season from Joey Votto nor Yasiel Puig. Star pitching still a shortcoming, and not having leader Scooter Gennett has hurt team. People like manager David Bell.
PIRATES….Josh Bell and the bangers have been fun to watch. Pitching depth still an issue for a team that dealt away Garrett Cole amongst others. Injury issues to young pitchers in farm system also slowed growth of team.
ARIZONA….Life after Pat Corbin-Paul Goldschmidt hasn’t been as bad as first feared. Still really thin on pitching after Zach Grienke has given you all his innings. Not alot of hitting stars in the lineup. Thank goodness for David Peralta.
GIANTS…Madison Bumgarner likely in final month of career in San Francisco, likely trade bait before free agency. Farm system withered over last couple of years. Not much talent in chain, nor on roster, as witnessed by 14-different oufielders and 5-different catchers this year, plus lack of pitching depth. Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey all been banged up, and can’t do it by themsevles. Lousy way for Bruce Bochy to end of great managerial career.
MARLINS….Derek Jeter has a game plan with young players. Some here now, others on way. Some kids look good, Garrett Cooper, Harold Martinez, Brian Anderson, Just not enough major league talent on roster, and surely no one in the stands, with attendance (9,665) in a brand new stadium. Poor Don Mattingly has signed on for something that is going to take forever.