Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Around the League-AL West

With about a quarter of the season in the books the AL West has 2 teams at the top that have controlled the division for most of the season to this point and then 2 at the bottom that have been just barely hanging around.

At this time Vancouver is leading the way in the West with a 23-15 record for a 2 game lead. They haven't won the division since season 14 and haven't had a winning record since then either. The team has been on fire as they are 12-1 in their last 13 games.  They are led by Daryl McEnerney, who is having a monster start to the season with 14 homers, 37 RBI, 7 steals, a .331 batting average and .682 Slugging. Mendy Lee is hitting a whopping .360 and a .418 obp and should be a top rookie of the year candidate. The pitching staff is lead by Brad Porter who is 5-0 in 8 starts with a 2.19 ERA. Bill Crabtree is 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in 7 starts. The team should be tested in their next few series with 4 against Rochester, 3 against San Juan and 3 against Tampa Bay coming up and all on the road.

The Boise Girls stand in second place. This team has not had a winning season since season 17 and are looking at ending that this season if they can hold the pattern. They've been pretty consistent this season, but have won 7 of their last 9 games and seem to be heating up. The team is being led offensively by Houston Baptist with 14 homers, 33 RBI, and a .270 batting average. Jarrett Knight is off to a good start this season hitting 10 homers with 22 RBI, 25 runs scored, and a .276 average. The pitching staff is led by Paxton Weiland who is 2-2 with 3.19 ERA. Esteban Cantu has 8 saves in 10 tries with a 3.32 ERA. Diego Benitez has been pretty good out of the pen with 30 1/3 innings pitched with a 2.08 ERA. Boise has a tough stretch of games coming up as well with New Orleans for 4, Dover, Durham and San Juan for 3 each, but they are all at home and should give them a slight edge.

St Louis has won 4 of the past 5 division titles, but have struggled out of the gate this season and stand 7 games out of first. They've been struggling a bit offensively, but Neil Roberts hasn't let it affect him at all. He's hitting a .308 with 7 homers, 27 RBI, and 16 doubles. Rookie O.T. Harper has struggled to get started, but he should be able to turn it around and have a solid season. Pitching is the strength of this team and Sean Shipley has been a big part of that. He is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA in 8 starts so far. Rock Randall is a great pitcher, but he has struggled to get started this season and stands at 2-2 with a 4.96 ERA. He should be much better than this and will likely turn it around. Phillip Crawford has shut teams down in the closer role with 10 saves in 11 tries and a 2.89 ERA. Things don't get easier over the next few series for this team. They have Dover coming in for 4, followed by series at Boston and Dover for 3 each. Then they follow that with 7 against Tampa Bay.

Los Angeles isn't off to a very good start this season and find themselves 10 games out. The offense has scored the 4th fewest runs in the AL and the pitching staff has given up the most runs. The offense has some solo standouts led by Bip Rodgers with 8 homers, 29 RBI and a .272 average. Bret Richardson has 5 homers with 19 RBI and a .294 average. Rickie Lawrence has also got it done with a .327 average and 18 RBI. They have guys getting it done on offense, but they just can't put it together. The pitching rotation hasn't had anybody standout, but they have a couple guys in the bullpen that have been dealing. Babe LaRocca has a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings and Andres Jacquez has a 1.93 ERA in 28 innings. The Regulators have series coming up at San Juan for 4, at Tampa Bay for 3 and back home against San Juan for 3.

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