Los Angeles Angels
Josh Hamilton looked like a player on a mission in his first 8 games – .444 with 2 HR’s and 6 RBI. He tore a ligament in his left thumb that will cost him at least 6 weeks of the season. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Angels call up C.J. Cron to play DH while pushing Raul Ibanez to the outfield. Cron is hitting .321 at AAA with 1 HR and 7 RBI. Last year, he hit .274 in the minors with 14 HR’s and 83 RBI. Albert Pujols appeared to be in the coffin before blasting HR’s in back to back games. Tyler Skaggs pitched an elite game in his first start for the Angels – 8 shutout innings with 5 K’s. His AFB was 93.2 compared to 90 for Arizona last season. Jered Weaver has struggled out of the gate – 0-2 with 6.00 ERA with a short fastball (87.0).
Robbie Grossman isn’t setting the bar high for George Springer. He is only hitting .063 with 12 K’s in 32 at bats. Springer hasn’t done much better at AAA – .250 with no HR’s in 28 at bats with 10 K’s. Chris Carter has 13 K’s in 27 at bats. Jason Castro is only hitting .125 in 24 at bats. Matt Dominguez has 2 HR’s in his 3 hits (.107). Just like the Twins, the Astros are loaded with poor pitching. Their closer (Josh Fields), Scott Feldman (2-0 with 0.66 ERA) and Matt Albers are the only pitchers on the team with an ERA under 4.09.
Derek Norris leads the A’s in hitting (.429 with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI) in part time at bats (14). Brandon Moss has been the best starting hitter – .310 with 1 HR and 9 RBI. Josh Reddick is on the verge of hitting his way to AAA – 13 K’s in 29 at bats (.103). Josh Donaldson may be a one-year wonder. He is hitting .194 with 11 K’s and only 1 walk in 26 at bats. Jim Johnson has looked brutal in 5 games – 0-2 with an 18.90 ERA with 7 runs and 15 base runners allowed in 3.3 innings. His velocity looks intact (94.80 sinker), so he may just need time to clear his head. Sonny Gray (1-0 with 0.75 ERA) and Jesse Chavez (1.38 ERA with 13 K’s in 13 innings) have been the A’s 2 best starters.
Robinson Cano continues to hit in Seattle (.346), but he is still looking for his 1st HR. After a great 1st game of the year, Brad Miller is only hitting .219 with 11 K’s in 32 at bats. Meanwhile at AAA, Nick Franklin is hitting .533 with 2 HR’s and 5 RBI in his first 4 games. Felix Hernandez has been elite in his first two starts – 2-0 with 1.88 ERA with 19 K’s in 14.3 innings. James Paxton was off to a great start (2-0 with 2.25 ERA with 13 K’s in 12 innings) before suffering a lat injury in his last start. Fellow rookie Taijuan Walker struck out 10 batters in 5 innings at AA. He may replace Paxton in the starting rotation next week.
Prince Fielder has only 6 hits in 37 at bats with no HR’s. No Texas batter has more than 1 HR this season. I’d have to say the HR Elvis Andrus hit this week impressed me. He jumped on a pitch and pulled to left. This may be a sign of more strength and he may climb from the Judy status. Both Alex Rios (.364 with 1 HR and 6 RBI) and Shin Soo Choo (.355) have played at a high level to start the year. Adrian Beltre is battling a quad injury and may miss a couple of games. Yu Darvish looked to be healthy in his 7 shutout innings with 6 K’s. The Rangers could be in trouble with the rest of their rotation. Ross has walked too many batters (8) and Scheppers has been hit hard (.395). Matt Harrison is still a couple of weeks away from returning. Neftali Feliz has pitched 3 shutout innings in the minors with 4 K’s.