April 15th, 2015

My Early Observations

Hats off to the Tigers. They completely destroyed both the Twins and the Indians. They looked like they could beat any team, any day. When Miguel Cabrera is going good he can center the ball to the middle of the field. That’s what I saw with a couple of his base hits. And then he totally smoked home runs to left. While I really enjoy watching Cabrera and his buddies totally torment pitchers, my greatest take away from the Tigers success so far has been the stellar pitching of Shane Greene. He’s thrown everything but the kitchen sink at hitters-throwing strike one and getting ahead in counts. I love watching this guy pitch. He gets it. Yes, he may have a bump in the road because he’s human, but man, he’s been outstanding.

How much has Nelson Cruz meant to the Mariners so far? The man can flat out hit. When he hits a rocket shot there isn’t a park that can hold it. No matter how far away the fences.

I don’t think Fernando Rodney is in jeopardy of losing his closer’s job. Not yet at least. He did break bats and all the hits weren’t solid. I see hope he stays in the role as the Mariners closer.

Why did the Rockies bring back 42-year old LaTroy Hawkins? I wish I knew. Maybe he lost his job so quickly because the Rockies are off to such a great start and they want to preserve every win. Whatever the reason, the job now belongs to Adam Ottavino, a very good arm. But…will he keep the job? Rafael Betancourt waits in the wings.
By the way, Hawkins is one of the finest gentlemen in the game. I hope all goes well for him. He deserves only the best.

Will the Yankees lose patience with the slow offensive start of Didi Gregorius? I sure hope not.

We should never be surprised at what Adrian Gonzalez can do with a bat. He’s that good a hitter. Great eye-hand coordination. Outstanding pitch recognition. And quick hands through the ball. He’s a master at his craft.

I tried to get D J LeMahieu in every league in which I play fantasy baseball. I couldn’t pull it off. I’ve told you before I like every thing about the guy. Now he’s getting some due publicity for his fast start.

I hope things continue for the guys on my Guys I Like This Year list. Most are off to great starts. I just hope I don’t jinx them.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it over and over…The Indians simply have to get another right-handed bat. They are still totally vulnerable to left-handed pitching.

How about the duo of Matt Harvey and Jake deGrom? Make that a trio when you add veteran Bartolo Colon to the mix. Watch out for the Mets.

Poker may change when guys like Kris Bryant and White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon make their big league arrivals. And how about the Twins Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano? There are so many great prospects waiting to make an impact. Some will come sooner than we may think.

I can’t help feeling badly about the total collapse of the Rangers pitching fortunes. Yu Darvish and Derek Holland. Not to mention Matt Harrison and Martin Perez. Yikes!

I love to watch the energy of the Kansas City Royals. Every game they put on a clinic about playing the game with gusto and guts. And every day I appreciate Lorenzo Cain more and more. I was on his band wagon early, but now I’m the drum major out ahead of the trumpet section. He’s that good.

I had my concerns about the Astros strikeout total in my pre-season pennant blog. I don’t know if they’ll ever make the necessary adjustments to make more contact. Yes there will be games when they blast the ball out of the park. But the strikeouts will kill lots of rallies.

How important is Chris Heston to the Giants? He stepped up when Matt Cain and (at the time) Jake Peavy were injured. Now I think he may be a more permanent member of the Giants rotation. No great overpowering pitches. Just a deep repertoire with command and control.

Yes-I’m really surprised at the start of the Atlanta Braves. But it’s a long season.

Miguel Castro was a Spring Training Blue Jays invitee. He wasn’t on the 40-man. Either was Roberto Osuna. Or Devon Travis. At the age of….20 Castro is the team’s closer. At least for now. I have shoes older than him. Those guys are all such great stories.

I’m still very concerned about the Indians pitching in the 4 and 5 slots. And I hope Carlos Carrasco can rebound from the terrible line drive to the jaw against the White Sox. He and Corey Kluber along with Trevor Bauer form a good trio. But then????

Jhoulys Chacin signed with the Indians. My contact with the Rockies told me he had lost two to three miles per hour off his fastball. Anything left in the tank?

Last I looked, Carlos Quentin is still out there looking for a job.

Mookie Betts is fantastic. Another of the great young stars we are getting to watch. He can do it all.

OK-that’s it for now. I’m done.

And thank you for reading my work on MLBPipeline.com and for following me on twitter @BerniePleskoff.