Up until this week SB had it set that I could do the 'confidence post' Thursday or Friday. I was planning on doing it Friday, because I am a procrastinator. Imagine my surprise when I saw that I had to have it done yesterday or today. I think I'm too late to get it done yesterday so I'm at it today.
The start of the season has done a lot to help my confidence in the team. I had them down as a 85 win team going in, but when you read all the experts saying we were going to be last, we were going to lose 100 games and all, even though I didn't agree, I wondered if they knew something I didn't. We went into the season with a pretty tough schedule for the first month or so. If they were right we could end the first 40 games 15 and 25. So being around .500, for me, is reassuring.
Then, when you start considering the number of little injuries and the couple of demotions we had, it looks that much better. 49 games in and the only ones to have been in 40 games are Escobar (47), Rivera (42), Bautista (41) and Patterson (40). If everything had worked out right neither Patterson or Rivera would have that many.
Add in that not many of our players are performing much above the level you'd expect and some are below what you would hope. There aren't many that will regress to the mean, while there are others who almost have to get better as the season goes on.
Who on the team is having a better season than you thought he would? Bautista. Maybe Arencibia. Lind might be slightly better than you could have hoped before the injury. Of the starting pitchers? Romero has been good of late, maybe he's a little better than you might have guessed.
A few of the guys in the pen have been terrific. Carlos Villanueva has been amazing. Frasor, Janssen, Camp and Rzepczynski have been very good. But then the guys at the back end of the pen haven't been as good.
Many of the other guys we should expect to be a little better or, in the case of the handful that have played third, we know there is a better option close by. Hopefully the little experiment of playing Jayson Nix is nearly over.
I hope that Aaron Hill's numbers will improve, he's been hitting the ball better of late. Juan Rivera has improved some after not being able to hit at all for the first while. EE has to improve or leave.
I'm expecting Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek to improve as the season goes on. Jo-Jo Reyes can't possibly go the season without a win, can he? If he doesn't win soon, I doubt he'll make it to the end of the season. Carlos Vilanueva had a great start, if that is a sign of what he can do as a start he really will help out the rotation.
Basically, if you had told me that Travis Snider and Brett Cecil would have been send to the minors, that Jesse Litsch and Adam Lind would be injured, that Aaron Hill and Edwin Encarnacion wouldn't have a home run between them, I wouldn;t have believed we would be within spitting distance of .500.
I know we have had some tough games in the last few days but I'm still as confident in the team as I was at the start of the season. I'm not expecting Playoffs, but I am still expecting a fun season.