I know it has been a long time since we have posted anything. I have been busy writing college papers and now that it is finally ending, I can finally get back to thinking about baseball. Ty has no excuse for his absence.
Here are my top 6 thoughts about the first month and a half of the season.
- Mediocrity Throughout Baseball.
Entering today, 19 teams have a record between 3 games over .500 and 3 games below .500. For as long as I can remember, I do not remember so many average baseball teams to start a season like this year. It’s only May but it is beginning to look like 85 wins may win the A.L. East. So far, I do not think there is one dominant team. Every team has flaws and I think everyone will try to improve their club if the opportunity presents itself.
- Watching Some of the Game’s Greats
There is no doubt that Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols are two of the best players that this game has seen. Jeter has started his farewell tour and is beginning to play like the Jeter of old. He is 9 for his last 27 over his last 7 games. I think no matter whom your favorite team is you want to see Jeter go out on a strong season. Albert Pujols seems like he is close to the player he was back in St. Louis. He looks healthy and he already has 10 Home Runs in the young season. And he joined the 500 Home Run club earlier this season.
- Too Many TJ Surgeries
Tommy John surgeries have not only depleted pitching staffs, but it has become an epidemic throughout the entire game. So many young and talented pitchers are going down and it is devastating to the game of baseball. People want to go see the best players play and right now too many of them are on the 60 day DL. Patrick Corbin, Matt Moore, Brandon Beachy, Kris Medlen, and now Jose Fernandez are just some of the top pitchers who have torn their ulnar collateral ligaments. Something has to be done to figure out how to keep these talented pitchers on the field.
- Shifting in Baseball
It’s impossible to not notice how many teams are shifting their defense for hitters this year. It used to be just Joe Maddon and the Tampa Bay Rays but now every team seems to be playing these ridiculous shifts. Through this weekend, there have been 3,213 shifts performed by teams and they are on pace for over 14,000 shifts. I’m not saying that some hitters should not be shifted for but the other day I saw Miguel Cabrera hit with 1 player on the right side of the infield. Miguel Cabrera is a career .320 hitter and displays excellent bat control. Teams are foolish if they think he cannot hit a ground ball to the right side whenever he wants. I’m not saying to kill the shift but I will take my chances of getting hitters like Nick Punto out by playing straight up.
- Instant Replay
I have to admit, I was not in favor of baseball adding instant replay at first. Technology is so good that baseball had to decide to use it and I think it’s for the best. It is not perfect but baseball is slowly working out all the kinks as they have already changed the transfer rule. So far, 130 plays have been overturned out of the 276 plays reviewed. I think the one thing that instant replay has proven is how good these umpires really are. If we have to show 3 different angles in slow motion to determine if the player is safe or out, then I think they are doing a good job. This is a work in progress and it will only continue to improve.
- Tanaka Worth Every Penny
When Masahiro Tanaka signed his monstrous contract, (7 yrs / $ 155M) many thought that the Yankees were crazy. Up to this point in the season, Tanaka has been the savior to the Yankees’ pitching staff. In a staff with Sabathia (Knee), Nova (TJ Surgery), and Pineda (Shoulder) all on disabled list, it is without question that Tanaka is the ace of the New York Yankees. He is 5-0 in 7 starts and has a 2.57 earned run average. He also is top 10 in strikeouts. The season is still young and more scouting reports will come out on Tanaka but up to this point in the season, I think Tanaka has not only exceeded the Yankees’ expectations but everyone’s expectations.