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Second week thoughts

Great pose
Great pose
Tom Szczerbowski

I had intended to do this yesterday, since we did week one comments last Monday, but the bombings in Boston put me off baseball and everything else for a little while. Like everyone, I know people that have run the Boston Marathon before, some that were running it this year and I really couldn't focus on writing for a bit.

It was good to have a baseball game to watch.

The second week (or week and a day) of the season was so much better than the first week. In our last 7 games we were 4-3. So I guess we can back away from the ledge, at least a little bit. The defense has been so much better, especially the last 3 or 4 games. And will continue to improve, Brett Lawrie will be a huge improvement over Mark DeRosa.

Some thoughts:

  • The third time through the rotation, so far, has been much better than the first two times through. Dickey pitched 6.1 innings, Morrow 6.0 and Buehrle 6.1. And they only gave up 5 runs in their 18.2 innings. I hope Josh Johnson continues the trend tonight.
  • Edwin Encarnacion seems to be finding the timing on his swing. Over the past 6 games he's hit .318/.400/.545.
  • Melky Cabrera is getting there too. The last week he's hit .318/.385/.318, all singles, but still getting there.
  • Even Adam Lind is starting to hit a bit, .267/.333/.400.
  • Munenori Kawasaki has had a nice 3 games too, .286/.400/.571. I don't know why the Mariners gave up on him after just 104 at bats. Wouldn't you think a guy coming over from Japan might need more than that to get comfortable in North America.
  • I'm glad the Jose Bautista to third, Brett Lawrie to second thing has, apparently ended. When you have a guy playing one position all spring training, then suddenly you put him at another spot, you are asking for an injury. Bautista playing a couple of innings at third base, at the end of a game, in an emergency, is one thing. Starting him at third is another thing. He didn't get time to get his body used to playing the spot. There is a reason why they pull players after 3 or 4 innings in their first starts of spring. You want to build into these things slowly. I'd rather not move start players at all. Personally I'd tell Bautista "you are too important to the team to be a utility player. Thanks for the offer, but you are my right fielder."
  • We only have one pitcher that started the season with the team and still hasn't given up a run: Brett Cecil. I don't think many of us would have had him in the pool. 7 innings, 3 hits, 3 walks and 10 strikeouts. Pretty terrific start.
  • Darren Oliver, on the other hand, has pitched in 6 games, and has given up at least a run in 4 of them. Batters are hitting .391 off him so far.

So how are you feeling about the team after the second week of play?