Hi. I'm sorry it's been a while. Busy time of year. Not sure how often I'll be updating over the next couple of weeks - but please keep checking back. Rest assured, though, that I have been watching plenty of baseball, and I am well qualified to give this summary:
MOST IMPRESSIVE: Lately, it's been Carlos Beltran. How about this past week? .381 Avg., 8 RBI, 5 runs scored in 21 at-bats. He's led an offense which qualifies this session as the.....
BIGGEST SURPRISE: It shouldn't be that the Mets' offense is listed under a "surprise" this year...but such is the case. The way they were playing, I was about to write an obituary last week on the 2008 season. Then the bats came alive in Los Angeles and against the Reds, and it looks like there may be hope yet. Again, the fact that this is even remotely "surprising" is disheartening, but let's accentuate the positive here (12 runs against Brad Penny, then 21 in 3 games versus Cincinnati).
LEAST IMPRESSIVE: David Wright has been slow to have his bat wake up, while the rest of the offense has been impressive. He's at 12 doubles, but I feel like he hasn't gotten a big hit in a long time.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Oliver Perez. Even when he's good he's making you hold his breath. How about this, though? This occurred to me on Sunday. Is it possible that he needs Brian Schneider as a steadying influence when he's on the mound? I haven't heard anyone mention this, but Perez had a great start to the year when Schneider was behind the plate, then Schneider got hurt, and Perez fell apart. Coincidence? Maybe. But Schneider's healthy...so let's see.
MOST IMPRESSIVE: How about Brandon Webb? I sang his praises during his shutout streak last year, but this has been just as impressive. 8 starts, 8 wins. He's got a 2.41 ERA, and has one complete game. He's solid.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: I was going to go with Florida Baseball, and mention the Marlins, Rays, the Florida State League, some silliness like that. But everyone is touting Florida baseball (and rightly so). So I'll say just the Rays, who are fun to root for. And you know what, I can't not mention the Marlins, even though they're the division rivals. As long as they keep it up, I'll keep mentioning them as a surprise.
LEAST IMPRESSIVE: The Blue Jays' offense ought to be ashamed of itself (themselves?). For the team to have starting pitching that great (Roy Halladay, Dustin McGowan, and Shawn Marcum have been outstanding) and be five games under .500 is ridiculous. They just can't score.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Have I mentioned Andruw Jones yet? I think it's about time. He's hitting .170 out in LA, with just one homer and 5 RBI. Even when David Ortiz was at his lowest point this year, he was still driving in runs. This is just awful.