At the one-third mark in the 2015 season, it’s a good time to take a look at the winners and losers weighing a team’s performance against the predictions made during the Hot Stove winter league. Not surprisingly, there are more losers than winners….but we’ll start with the….
This team was on no one’s radar when the season began. Their treasureload of young talent was supposed to be on the way and ready next year. The question is how far can their young pitching take them and how long can they continue to win games only when they hit two or more home runs. It’s a weak division so it’ll be fun to watch as the season plays out.
Like the Astros, they’ve come out of nowhere with a no name roster. The infusion of Tori Hunter in the lineup and more importantly the clubhouse cannot be overestimated. Mike Pelfrey may finally “get it” and looks more like pitcher instead of a thrower. Still, it’ll take a miracle to compete over a whole season with the Royals and Tigers.
NEW YORK METS:
They’ll need to stay healthy and get a big bat in return for some of their pitching. Terry Collins is underrated as a manager and Sandy Alderson is overrated as a GM. The good news is that the Nationals can’t get out of their own way leaving the Mets a way to sneak in there if Matt Harvey can be Matt Harvey again.
NEW YORK YANKEES:
For a team that is expected to be in the playoffs every year, even the most diehard Yankee fans have to be heartened by the way this team is playing. A-Rod and Tex are managing to carry a team that is woefully lacking in hitting, especially at the bottom of the lineup. Working for them is competing in the American League Least. Tanaka and Pineda can take them a long way in the playoffs.
SAN DIEGO PADRES:
No team made a bigger splash than the Padres during the off season. Will Myers, Matt Kemp, James Shields………..but here they are struggling even to get to .500. Fan excitement lasted about as long as a San Diego winter. They’ll make a run……..but it’ll be too little too late.
The Sports Illustrated curse seems to have affected the the Indians again. Picked to win the World Series no less……….they find themselves in the basement looking up at some very good teams. They still look good on paper but that’s the problem……it’s only paper.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS / DETROIT TIGERS
These two teams are lumped together as the biggest underachievers of the season
Both teams appear to be sleepwalking through a season that can easily get away from them. As Yogi Berra used to say “It’s getting late here early”. No doubt, they have All Star teams. And maybe that’s exactly what the problem is. They’re both playing a very dangerous game.
A total embarrassment (except for the best pitcher in baseball). Robbie Cano non chalants his way through another season while Justin Smoak continues to suck up $$ based on what he might do tomorrow. And Lloyd McClendon is a powder keg on the brink of exploding. In a small market town the Seahawks own………why even bother?
Here’s another team playing well enough to lose. Despite the influx of $$, the Marlins appear to be dysfunctional not only on the field but in the clubhouse as well. Maybe the re infusion of their ace Fernandez will energize this team but again time is not on their side.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX:
Yet another team that captured the Hot Stove season…….but now…..nothing. Win two lose two will not cut it in this division. What’s wrong….Chris Sale only pitches every fifth day. Plus…….there are too many teams ahead of them in a very crowded and competitive division.
DEAD ON ARRIVAL
BOSTON RED SOX
Big Papi often looks overmatched, Mike Napoli is usually overmatched, and Pablo Sandoval should be arrested for robbery. It’s no accident this team has a firm hold on last place in a very winnable division. Still, the $$ keeps pouring in at perennially sold out Fenway.
With three solid everyday players (Votto, Frazier, and Phillips), along with a menacing closer you have to wonder if there isn’t something going on in that clubhouse. They’re no match for the Cardinals and the Pirates and seem content to just play out the season.
While the rest of baseball is whizzing by them, the Phillies seem mired in limbo with their aging and highly paid stars. Meanwhile, Cole Hamels languishes on the mound every fifth day as the front office dreams of landing a package of young talent before hell freezes over.
The Midas Touch of Billy Beane can now only be seen in Hollywood in the form of Brad Pitt. Oakland is not a major league city, and neither is the team they run out there every night. Commissioner Manfred needs to step up and step in forcing the Giants to abandon their non existent fears and let this poor team move to San Jose.
It ain’t over till it’s over………but for teams not taking games in April and May …and now June….seriously…….waiting for that magic moment when they catch fire and everyone around them freezes in time……it rarely works that way. But then again…….you never know…..remember the Royals last year ……