Man, that was a terrible month of baseball. I'm pretty sure no one guessed we'd end April at 10-17.
What went well:
- Jose Reyes was terrific with the bat, before he broke himself. A.395/465/.526 batting line, 5 stolen bases. He didn't show the range I thought he'd have on defense, but I'd imagine, if Brett Lawrie had been playing beside him, Brett could have covered up that lack of range.
- Edwin Encarnacion has been very hot for the second half of the month. 7 home runs in 2 weeks, 5 in the last week.
- Casey Janssen is 7 for 7 in save opportunities. Thank goodness for that. Can you imagine if he had blown a couple of those saves? He pitched 9 innings and allowed just 3 hits, 0 walks and 11 strikeouts.
- Brett Cecil has been great as well. 14.2 innings 8 hits, 2 earned, 6 walks and 17 strikeouts. Who figured him to get more than a strikeout an inning. Darren Oliver's first 4 appearances all resulted in runs against but since then he's been much better.
- Adam Lind has been getting on base, when he's been in the lineup. .397 OBP powered by a team leading 12 walks.
- Brett Lawrie's glove. And his bat seems to be coming around. He's hitting .350/.381/.650 in the last week.
- J.A. Happ has been pretty ok. 24 hits, 11 walks and 24 k in 28 innings. 3.86 ERA.
- Jose Bautista might be having a slow start, by his standards but he still has an OPS+ of 121.
- Injuries. Reyes is out for half the season. Lawrie missed the first 2 weeks.Sergio Santos is out and no one seems to know when he'll be back. Jose Bautista missed a few games. Josh Johnson missed a start. R.A. Dickey hasn't been 100%.
- Without Reyes, the middle infield has been awful. Maicer Izturis is hitting .193/.221/.289. He did have our first home run and might be coming out of the slump, he's hit .278 (with no walks and 1 extra base hit) in the past week. He has some of the weakest swings you'll ever see. He doesn't have the range I thought he would and has dropped a couple throws made to him from short. Emilio Bonifacio has been a disappointment too, hitting .179/.222/.313 and the errors he made in the first week of the season didn't make for a good first impression To my eye, he has more range than Izturis. Munenori Kawasaki added a little life, but the .220/.306/.293 batting line and the couple of errors, has thrown water on the burning love we had for him. I'd still love to see him get more All-Star votes than Derek Jeter.
- Colby Ramus has 38 strikeouts in 84 at bats. I keep thinking that he has to get better but then I've been thinking that for 2 seasons now and it isn't happening. At least he's looked great with the glove.
- Melky Cabrera has been a disappointment too. I expected before than a .241/.291/.287 line, with just 3 extra base hits and no homers. He's been caught twice trying to steal, in four attempts (please stop trying) and his defense looks awkward. He's slower than I thought he'd be. Maybe he'll do better as the weather warms.
- Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson have ERAs north of 6. In 48 combined innings they have given up 65 hits,9 home runs and 15 walks. Buehrle has always been a slow starter, but this is extreme. He's gotta improve right? Johnson has had a few good moments, but the 6 earned runs in 1.1 against the Tigers really hurt his numbers. Take that game out and his ERA drops from 6.86 to 4.42.
- The old guys, Mark DeRosa and Henry Blanco haven't been impressive either. DeRosa is hitting .161/.263/.323 in far too many at bats. I'm sure he's called more team meetings than he's had hits. And his defense is worse than I thought it could be. Blanco is hitting .133/.188/.133. Catching R.A. Dickey, he has 3 passed balls and 2 wild pitches against him and basestealers are 3 for 3 with him behind the plate. Alex, I think we could let these two retire now.
- Though he has a good ERA (2.35) Steve Delabar has given up 13 walks in 15.1 innings.
- J.P. Arencibia has 8 home runs, but just 2 walks. I guess we are just going to have to live with the fact that this is who JP is and enjoy his hot streaks.