Cheering Matt Wieters and a Half-Dozen Other Premature Notes

Steven GoldmanMLB Lead BloggerApril 11, 2012

Matt Wieters: Maybe he'll even keep it up.
Matt Wieters: Maybe he'll even keep it up.J. Meric/Getty Images

The Yankees have walked in 13 percent of their plate appearances so far. The Mariners have walked in five of theirs. The Yankees have scored 4.6 runs per game, the Mariners 4.0. They’re going to diverge even more all year long.

The Angels have hit all of one home run so far, which explains why they have been reluctant to bench Mark Trumbo’s scary-bad third baseman’s glove. Not that Trumbo’s .291 on-base percentage last year suggests that he’s a real run producer.

The easiest club to strike out so far? The Chicago White Sox. My favorite: Robin Ventura’s no. 2 hitter, third baseman Brent Morel, with seven Ks in 13 at-bats. My SiriusXM colleague Mike Ferrin pointed out on last week’s show that Morel had a strangely patient and powerful September, hitting .224/.340/.443 with eight home runs. He had had all of two homers up to that point. It’s worth seeing if he can do that again, but does anyone truly believe that he can?

The Twins are hitting so many grounders it’s as if they were facing a rotation of Derek Lowe, Brandon Webb, Tommy John and Greg Maddux. This might seem obvious, but it’s fun to point out anyway: it’s very hard to hit a home run with a ground ball. At least Justin Morneau has shown signs of life. That’s heartening.

Other than the fourth-place Indians flip-flopping with the third-place White Sox, I expect that today’s AL Central standings—Tigers, Royals, White Sox, Indians, Twins—reflect the division’s final position.

Having called out Matt Wieters as a disappointment last year, I’m happy to see him get off to the kind of start he always seemed to be capable of. If you weren’t reading, a refresher:

As we were among the first to hop on the Wieters bandwagon, let us be among the first off of it. The backstop is heading into his age-25 season. Whatever his .343/.438/.576 rates seemed to portend, that’s gone, along with the notion that he’s a switch-hitter (he has hit .230/.278/.344 from the right side) or a power hitter. His glove and the dream of what might have been will keep him around for years, but stardom now seems spectacularly unlikely.

One note from over in the National League: the Diamondbacks are 4-0 with three one-run wins and one two-run win. That probably won’t keep up. I would like to note again that they had a guy named Shaw save a game—not J.J. Putz, not Goose Gossage—but Shaw, the guy who played “Quint” in Jaws.