By Jake Greenberg

Boston Red Sox:

21-12 Record

The reemergences of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and depth has carried the Red Sox to being in 1st place after the month of April concluded. Buchholz was accused of doctoring the baseball by former Blue Jays pitcher, Dirk Hayhurst, after he pointed out a shiny substance on Buchholz’s arm. David Ortiz is currently on a 26 game hitting streak, and has been on fire since returning from the DL. It was later revealed that Buchholz was using sunscreen to enhance his grip on the baseball, as does “90% of the MLB,” according to two anonymous former pitchers. Mike Napoli has been an RBI machine since coming over to the BoSox. If Jacoby Ellsbury can start hitting like he did in 2011, when he blasted 32 HR’s, then the Sox may be hard to catch. It is amazing that they are dominating, despite having Joel Hanrahan, Craig Breslow, and Andrew Bailey all on the DL for some time. Junichi Tazawa will fill in as the team’s closer, in the absence of Bailey, and Hanrahan, who will be back within a month.

Verdict: Contender

April MVP: Clay Buchholz

New York Yankees:

 

18-13 Record

After an offseason, in which Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira,  and Curtis Granderson were all put on the shelf, and Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, and Eric Chavez all signed elsewhere, the Yankees find themselves in position to run away with the AL East, when their full lineup returns. Injury replacements Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, and Kevin Youkilis have all been key to the Yankees hot start, and with Granderson and Teixeira on the verge of returns, the Yankees can easily make up the small deficit between them and the struggling 1st place Red Sox, fresh off being swept by the Rangers. With Michael Pineda likely a mid-seaon return, the Yankees will have fierce competition for the last two rotation spots come July, with options such as Phil Hughes, Vidal Nuno, Ivan Nova, and Pineda. With their tremendous pitching depth, the Yankees will take advantage of the fact that their AL East competitors didn’t take advantage of their injuries while they could

Verdict: Contender

April MVP: Robinson Cano

Baltimore Orioles:

20-13

Looking to build on their 2012 success, the O’s have been hot out of the gates, led by Chris Davis. Davis has hit 9 HR, and is 0ver the .330 mark. After slugging 34 HR last year, Davis looks like he is figuring his swing out at the plate, and could be on the verge of becoming one of the most feared hitters in the game. Nate McLouth has been exceptional, for the second straight year, with both the glove and the bat. Sporting an average above .330, McLouth is a candidate to be an AL all-star. Adam Jones has been just as good, if not better, than he was last year. Manny Machado is also on a tear recently, and cold join Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, as the games premier young players. If JJ Hardy, and Matt Wieters can start hitting, the O’s offensive will be stealthily. The only question is their starting rotation, which has included many players, so far this year.

Verdict: Contender

April MVP: Chris Davis

Tampa Bay Rays:

14-18

There have been many concerning factors in the Rays 2013 season, so far. David Price is experiencing the worst stretch of starts in his entire career, sporting an ERA of 6.25. Matt Moore seems to have replaced Price as the team’s go to, dominant pitcher. Moore is one of the prime candidates to start the all star game for the AL, come all-star time. Fernando Rodney has been dreadful, coming off one of the best seasons of all-time from a closer. Rodney is clearly not going to be as reliable as he was last year, as he has already allowed more runs in 2013, than 2012. James Loney and Evan Longoria may be the only two bright spots on the Rays offense, so far. The Rays are in need of a change, if they hope to return to the playoffs, Prospect Wil Myers should be their first step in the right direction.

Verdict: Pretender

April MVP: Evan Longoria

Toronto Blue Jays:

13-21

I am proud to say that I was never a believer in the Toronto Blue Jays dominating the AL East, leading up to winning the World Series, after they made so many headlines in the offseason. Many predicted that the Jays would make the World Series, but that is clearly unlikely. Nothing could possibly be worse for  the Blue Jays at this point. RA Dickey has an ERA over 5.00, as does Mark Buehrle, and Josh Johnson. All three of the pitchers that were supposed to come into the AL and dominate have been dreadful, and to make things any worse, Johnson is headed to the 15-day DL. The other two starters, Brandon Morrow, and JA Happ haven’t exactly shinned either. Morrow has an ERA in the mid-4.00’s, and Happ has allowed roughly 4 runs per 9 innings pitched. Four runs is nothing for a team with such a potent offense, right? To give you an idea at just how bad this team is offensively, Rajai Davis, the teams backup outfielder to start the season, is leading all active Blue Jays hitters with a .271 batting average. Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie, Edwin Encarnacion, and every player on the team besides Davis have averages under .25o. Jose Reyes was hitting .370 before he broke his ankle, and is expected to be sidelined for at least another month. Reyes won’t be able to save the Jays before they can fall so far out of the AL East, that they will be sellers at the deadline. The Jays will be watching some playoff baseball from their TV’s come November, because if they are going to turn their season around, they need to get going immediately.

April MVP: JP Arencibia

Verdict: Pretender

Filed under: Jake Greenberg, MLB


Readers Comments (0)


You must be logged in to post a comment.