Monday, April 13, 2009

Quick Thoughts from Week One

It’s been a busy morning with a lot of complications, so here are some quick random thoughts after one week of the season.

I still have no idea who will win the AL Central, but I wish I hadn’t picked the Indians. Every team in that division looks terrible flawed, but the Indians starting rotation is almost nonexistent. Their “best” starters, Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona, arguably stink. Carl Pavano stinks. Anthony Reyes still has a chance, but he doesn’t miss enough bats to be what we expected him to be a few years ago. Who’s their last starter? Scott Lewis got hurt in the 5th inning of their home opener. According to CBS Sports, Aaron Laffey and Zach Jackson are likely candidates to replace him. No comment.

As for the other teams after one week, Detroit (4-3) is in first place, the White Sox (3-3) don’t look so bad, Kansas City (3-3) can pitch but can’t hit, and the Twins (3-4) are hanging in there with Joe Mauer, Scott Baker, and Pat Neshek on the DL.

If I could redo my AL Central predictions, I would say Twins, Sox, Tigers, Royals, and Indians. However, if the Indians can solidify their starting rotation, they can still finish on top because they have a very good lineup… Victor Martinez & Travis Hafner look rejuvenated… and they have the very best bullpen.

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The Cubs look like they are winning ugly. Their bullpen has been shaky, and their lineup does not look optimized. Soriano should not be leading off and Derrek Lee shouldn’t be batting 3rd. I’ve seen every Cubs’ game so far this season, and I don’t think I’ve seen Derrek Lee hit a single ball hard.

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Toronto and Baltimore are in 1st and 2nd place in the AL Central. I have no doubt that will change. This is a perfect example showing that our season is in its infancy, and we should not jump to too many conlclusions.

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Seattle is 5–2. Erik Bedard pitched a great game yesterday, getting the ball to David Aardsma in the 9th. If the Mariners get solid pitching from him and King Felix, they should be much better than expected, especially considering that they’ve been playing without Ichiro. Also, is David Aardsma the new closer, over Brandon Morrow? In our roto league, we drafted Aardsma but dropped him for George Sherrill because Morrow was named closer. I like Aardsma’s arm more than Sherrill’s so this is quite a tease to see Aardsma with 2 saves.

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In the National League, Atlanta and Florida are 5–1, while St. Louis and San Diego are 5-2. San Diego is 5-2. I have to remind myself that San Diego is 5-2. They split a 4-game season against the Dodgers and swept 3 games at San Francisco.

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Speaking of San Francisco, Tim Lincecum has been horrendous. Both Cy Young award winners from last season have started 0-2, and they weren’t tough losses. They’ve been getting clobbered. I’m getting more and more convinced every day that starting pitchers are the least consistent performers in the league and anyone with a heavy workload one year should be expected to regress to towards league average sooner rather than later.

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It only took Milton Bradley one week to have two injuries, one of which knocked him out of a game and will probably keep him out for a few days, minimum. On Opening Day, he turned his ankle rounding first base, but he stayed in. Last night, he strained his right groin and had to come out. I don’t want to hear anyone say anymore that people aren’t injury prone. I think Madden used to say that all the time about football players. That no-one is “injury prone”, that injuries just happen and can happen to some people more than usual. I’m sorry, but Milton Bradley is injury prone.

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So, my least favorite thing about baseball is the rain out. I’ve been looking forward to the Cubs home opener for quite a while, but now it looks like it’ll be rained out. Until next time, loyal readers… let’s keep our season, our hearts, and each other forever young.

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