April Report Card
Hitting – D
Our .242 average is 11th in the AL. Despite what we thought were improvements to the lineup from last season (mainly by giving full seasons to the guys who took over for the veterans over the course of last season), we’ve fallen well below last year’s mark which ranked 3rd in the AL. We are also 14th in HR, although I don’t really care about that. 11th in OBP is not acceptable.
Starting Pitching – B
Even though our starters ERA is ranked 8th in the AL, I’m pleased with most of the performances. Scott Clark’s 7.11 ERA is a big bowl of yuck, But Chris Rivers (2.61), Casey Mize (3.79), and Kris Bubic (4.55) are all pulling their weight. Jason Neal needs to do better (5.27), but overall this group has done well.
Relief Pitching – B
Our 3.71 bullpen ERA is only ranked 8th in the AL, but once again I’m very pleased. This was our primary point of focus in the off-season, and newcomers Addison Reed (0.82, 7 saves), Joe Kelly (1-0, 0.87), Masanobu Mochizuki (1-0, 0.83) have all been phenomenal and the other new face, Kevin Aylward (3-0, 3.07), leads the team in wins. If not for Felix Hernandez (7.71), Chad James (45.00), and Henry Lockwood (5.52), this group would get an A.
Bench – C
The bench (currently C Jake Jefferies, IF Julio Soto, OF Alex Kirilloff and OF Gunnar Nelson; C Hank O’Day is on his way to AAA) has been fine. Jefferies is 3-for-4 but has only appeared in 1 game since we signed him to be an upgrade over O’Day, who wasn’t bad at all (.276 in 31 PA). Julio Soto is only hitting .185 but has a couple of important HR. Kirilloff (.682 OPS) has been good and Nelson (.872 OPS) has been great.
Minor League System – C
AAA Omaha Storm Chasers – 12-11, 1st
AA NWA Naturals – 10-13, 3rd
A+ Wilmington Blue Rocks – 13-10, 2nd
A Lexington Legends – 12-12, 6th
If you do the math they are a combined 1 game over .500. That’s about as C as you can get.
Overall – B
This team has exceeded all expectations thus far and despite dropping 4 of their last 5 games is in first place in the AL Central. I’m tempted to give them an A, but there is still so much room for improvement that I’m giving them a B.Tomorrow we begin May with a rubber-match vs the Yanks. We’ve got St Louis, Baltimore, Texas, Colorado, the White Sox, Diamondbacks, Guardians and 7 very important games against the Twins coming up in the new month.