Monday, May 14, 2012

Season 19 Update-AL East

American League
The AL East is looking pretty strong this season. They should get 2 teams in the post season for the first time since season 6. At this time Durham and Pittsburgh are battling it out for the top spot and are tied.

Durham has shown quite a bit of improvement this season. With a .570 winning percentage, it puts them on pace for the teams first winning record since season 10 and if they can hold up that percentage it'll give them the best record in franchise history. The concerning thing for them is the .535 expected win percentage. The offense has been pretty good this season as they are second in runs scored in the AL. The offensive attack has been led by a number of players this season. Eric Lindsey is putting up MVP type numbers with 105 runs scored, 34 doubles, 32 homers, 81 RBI, a .326 average, .372 OBP and .625 Slg. Willie Martinez has likewise put up great numbers with 88 runs scored, 35 homers, 111 RBI, a .302 average, .364 OBP and .581 Slg. Throw in Fred Inge, Julio Navarro and rookie of the year candidate Billy Haynes, and this is an offense to be reckoned with. The rotation has been this teams weakness though. Off season addition, Willie Jacquez, has lived up to his contract with a 16-5 record and 3.67 ERA, but the rest of the group hasn't been what the team would hope for. The bullpen hasn't been very good either, with some high ERA's. Closer Miguel Gonzales has 35 saves in 43 tries, but his 6.25 ERA is nothing to be happy with. They should get a post season spot, but the pitching could be their undoing in the post season.

The franchise in Pittsburgh has taken the last 5 division titles in the East, but they have some real competition this season. They also stand at 73-55, but they have a .576 expected winning percentage right now which would lead the division. The offense has been solid, but lack any real standout player. Charles Torres has put up good numbers, but the team is much more about being solid throughout the lineup. Coco Stratton, Bo Creek, Reggie Creek, and Corky Lawrie have all put up good numbers, but none of them are putting up great numbers. The rotation has been solid, led by Jorge Figureoa with a 12-9 record and 3.59 ERA. Carlos Nieto doesn't have the ERA of a great pitcher, 4.06, but he finds ways to win with a 13-4 record. The bullpen has 4 very good relievers, led by Esteban Sierra and his 1.88 ERA. Closer Rudy Jameson has 26 saves in 31 chances and sports a 2.21 ERA. Irv Coghlan and Javy Blanco have also been pretty good coming out of the pen. This bullpen has been pretty good this season and could be what saves this teams post season hopes. Solid throughout, I can see this team taking the division or getting a wild card spot and maybe even making a little post season run.

Boston stands 8 games out in the division right now and 7 out of the wild card #2 spot. It would take a lot of things going right for them to get in, but they do have a chance. With a .542 expected win percentage they show that they should at least challenge to get in. Offensively this team has Rico Tatis leading the way and he is putting up numbers that should put his name in the hat for MVP. He has posted 91 runs scored, 52 homers, 135 RBI, a .296 average, .353 OBP, and .644 Slg. Junior Cruz is putting up pretty good numbers as well this season. Pepper Sanders and Houston Baptist also help round out this tough offensive team. The rotation has been solid throughout, but don't really have a pitcher that stands out. They have 5 pitchers that all do pretty much the same thing with mid to high 4 ERA's. The bullpen however, has been pretty good. Mark Kida has a 1.06 ERA this season. Closer Nash Casanova, has 29 saves in 31 tries with a 3.09 ERA and has a shot at Rookie of the Year honors. Chico Guerrero has been pretty good with a 3.05 ERA in 106 innings. Cy Sheppers has also done a good job with a 3.43 ERA. The bullpen is pretty good and could help this team make a late season push. This team needs the rotation to perform better though if they want that final wild card spot.

Chicago seems destined to finish last this season, but they have improved from season 18. The teams .453 winning percentage is a step forward for them. Catcher Barney Taft has been one of the bright spots for this team as he has put up some good numbers.

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