MLB 2015 season and what’s going on so far?
Slow starts… hot starts… who’s good… who’s not… the crew looks at some teams and some individual players and talks about it all this week in the Round Table…
1) The Cincinnati Reds lost again Saturday, making it seven straight losses and a 3-10 record since they were last above .500 at 15-14. This all after they started the year at 4-0. The manager, Bryan Price, even got ejected before the game started after being warned by the umps during the exchange of lineup cards to stop discussing “yesterday’s” loss.
What’s wrong with the Reds and can they right the ship before the wheels fall off completely?
Archie: I, for one, did not expect them to contend this year anyway so is the real question “are the wheels falling off” OR are they now playing the level of ball they were destined to in the beginning.
I expected the Cubs and Cardinals to contend for the Central this year and maybe an outside chance for Cincy and Pittsburgh. I know IF you look at the stats they do not look like a team that has lost 10 of last 13 until you look at their combined ERA 4.36 and then it’s easy to figure their woes.
Earl: The wheels are going to fall off and I put it all on the manager, Bryan Price. Arguing with the umps before the game even started? Shows me that he doesn’t have the means to get the Reds out of it. What I see is a manager that needs to get canned ASAP.
Joe: I guess they just aren’t as good as some people, including myself, thought that they were going to be in… at least in contention for a wildcard. They just don’t seem to be clicking overall so far as a team… team batting average sits around .235 and they average about a little over 3 runs per game while their opponents are batting .250 plus and average almost 4.5 runs per game. Not a formula for winning ball.
And, the manager ain’t helping the situation as he appears as if he is way over his head and not exactly ready for being a MLB manager.
Prediction… I think that managers and/or coaches all too often take the blame and get fired when it’s not necessarily their fault a team is not producing. However, in the Reds’ situation I think the manger needs to go. He’s just not keeping it together and is letting one game bleed into another instead of keeping each game separate. Getting tossed from a game before it even started because he couldn’t forget the umpiring from the previous day epitomizes that reality for him. So, for once… right now, the Reds need to fire Bryan Price and get somebody in there who can provide some stability in the on the field decision making… then maybe they could still turn things around.
Steve: I looked at this team on paper and they should be competing for a pennant with this roster. Offensively, they are a solid team on paper. However, the rotation is going to need some work. Cueto is not pitching like his capable of, Bailey has been injured, and, the others just are not playing up to par. The real loser here is Chapman who is having a fine season when he gets an opportunity to pitch in a save type game. Maybe the Reds can unload him and start to rebuild. There is a lot of talent on this team that every team in contention would love to have.
2) The Rangers’ Prince Fielder went 3-for-4 with a homer and 3 RBI on Saturday… On Friday he went 2-for-5, both hits were HRs, with 4 RBI. Fielder’s now batting .351/.407/.544 for the season.
Is this a mirage or is Fielder back to being an All-Star with MVP capabilities?
Strike while that iron is hot
Joe: I don’t think it’s a mirage and I think he is finally free of some nagging injuries and is returning to what he is capable of doing as hitter .290 plus batting average with 90 plus runs and 100 plus RBIs and 35 to 40 HRs…
If, you think about it he really only had one bad year which was last year… 2014.
Fielder is the probable top candidate for comeback player of the year this season as he is back to tearing the cover off the ball. He is likely headed back to the All Star Game this season, although many American League first basemen are having amazing years thus far.
I’m not convinced that Prince can keep this pace up for the entire season, but, look for him to finish above .300, 25 plus HR and 90 plus RBI.
3) At the 41 game mark Robinson Cano is on the way to his worst statistical season ever in his MLB career… by a lot.
Do you see Cano fixing whatever is wrong by midseason? If, he doesn’t is this just an aberration in his career and nothing more?
Hard to understand at times. It does seem like players that begin their career on the East Coast or Central region have a significant drop off when they move west. But that does not appear to be the same going the other direction.
Cano has dropped his first season on the west coast. Albert Pujol’s numbers have dropped drastically compared to his days in St. Louis. Josh Hamilton’s numbers with the Angels was well below his career stats. And me personally, when I have to stay on the West Coast for any length of time my body actually “feels” messed up like my brain clock is not functioning well. It could all be biorhythms or the such.
It’s a slow start but a guy like Cano does deserve the benefit of the doubt. A month from now I think he will be back on track.
He will recover before the season’s over and put up decent numbers when it’s all said and one.
Steve: To be fair to Cano, the entire Mariners roster outside of Felix Hernandez and Nelson Cruz are struggling. So, I don’t know if it is something in the air or these guys are just plain underachieving. I picked the Mariners to win the American League championship this season, and, I am starting to worry a little bit.
However, Cano is a true professional and I do think he can right the ship and turn things around by the All Star break. Struggles happen to everyone in baseball, it is just the human element. He will be fine.
4) Everyday there are stories about Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper or Mike Trout as the present and future crown princes of MLB… not so much about Paul Goldschmidt. Where does Goldschmidt fit in this hierarchy? Or, does he?
Archie: You know, this is a damn fine question. Even I, as much as I track MLB, had to go look to see what Goldschmidt was currently doing and I was shocked that I was missing his good numbers. So, I guess what I am saying is, “Why the hell is he not in the discussion as well?”
Is this a case of market? It should not be market because heaven knows, Miami is not a big baseball town. LA and DC will always be in the national news but not so much for Miami. I GUARAN-F’N-TEE YOU that IF Paul played for the NY Yankees his name would be all over ESPN like white on rice.
Fine player but to me he doesn’t belong in the same category.
But, in my opinion, I think he is nowhere near being on the elite level that Stanton, Harper or Trout are.
Then I said… hmmmm… just for the hell of it let’s look at all their numbers a little more closer… and guess what? Maybe I was wrong….
I compared Goldschmidt’s career slash line plus his key stats (HRs, RBIs, Runs and Batting Average) for 2015 with Stanton’s, Harper’s, Trout’s plus Miguel Cabrera’s and it looks like this…
Goldschmidt: .295/.386/.532 & 2015: 12 HRs, 38 RBIs, 34 Runs & .331 BA
Stanton: .268/.361/.238 & 2015: 13 HRs, 42 RBIs, 27 Runs & .237 BA
Harper: .278/.364/.494 & 2015: 18 HRs, 43 RBIs, 41 Runs & .331 BA
Trout: .304/.394/.548 & 2015: has 11 HRs, 25 RBIs, 34 Runs & .292 BA
Cabrera .321/.398/.565 & 2015: 11 HRs, 32 RBIs, 26 Runs & .341 BA
It takes a really special player to accomplish this feat, that is why Miguel Cabrera accomplished it for the first time in decades.
Stanton and Trout have the best shot to do it as they can hit for power, average, and can bring runners in.
Harper is a phenomenal player, but, I don’t ever see him leading the National League in batting average.
Goldschmidt, if memory serves me correct, had two out of the three two years ago in Home Runs and RBI, but was well short of batting average.
5) Which team blinks first and decides to make a big trade in an effort to either jump back into the playoff races or take control of their division?
IF, we go back and look at the offseason moves and the early predictions it would be easy to say the Padres are actually “failing” in their renovation to knock the Dodgers and/or Giants from the top. So, unless they are very very serious about being contenders not only this year but for the next few years as well, then THEY might be the first to go after more. And, by more I mean more or better pitching.
They did shore up their offensive woes but their pitching is NOT very good right now. And, while they did pick up some production in runs this season with the revamped offense, their amount of team strikeouts has just about doubled this season as well.
The AL East is still there for them and they have the resources to get better pitching. They just have to bite the bullet and part with them.
I’ll go out in a limb and say that the Red Sox part with some of their position player talent for one of the Mets’ pitchers.
Steve: History shows that when the Yankees are potential threats to win the division or make a run at the post season that they are usually players in the trade market. I can see them making a play for a top tier pitcher such as Cole Hamels, or, depending on the Padres chances, they could make a run at Andrew Cashner, who is pitching well but his team just cannot seem to score when he is on the mound.
I was hesitant to take the Cubs because as much as I think they may deal Starlin Castro to bolster their starting rotation, I don’t think their rotation is far off.
Washington could be players as well as Strasburg has not been true to form, and Fister has had a touch of the injury bug this season.
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