Detroit Tigers and 4 MLB Teams That Have Disappointed Early
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In the 2012 Major League Baseball (MLB) season we are in the early part of May, and there are talented, superior teams that have just flat out disappointed thus far.
Now there are teams that have MVP caliber players like Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers who have been on fire while other talented teams have just struggled.
Let's start with the Detroit Tigers.
Second in their division at 15-14 is where they stand, right behind the Cleveland Indians, because of their ace pitcher Justin Verlander who is 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA.
A powerful lineup that includes Austin Jackson, Prince Fielder, and Miguel Cabrera also helps.
The bad ERA has been from starting pitcher Max Scherzer getting lit up (6.32 ERA) and a terrible bullpen: closer Jose Valverde has a 5.27 ERA.
The team has lost 11 of their last 17 games but should be back to normal soon because Fister returned back to the rotation on May 7th, and they play in one of the worst divisions in baseball: American League (AL) Central.
Los Angeles Angels and Slumping Albert Pujols
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The Los Angeles Angels are in last place in the AL West sitting at 13-18. Five of those 13 wins have come against the worst team in baseball: Minnesota Twins.
Don't blame ace pitcher Jered Weaver who no-hit the lowly Twins, is 5-0 and leads the AL in ERA at 1.60. Outside of starting pitcher Ervin Santana who is 0-6 with a 5.59 ERA, everyone else on the rotation (C.J. Wilson, Dan Haren, Jerome Williams) have been mediocre.
The real problem for the Angels has been hitting and you can thank Albert Pujols for that.
Pujols hit his first home run of the season on May 6th, which was his longest at-bat streak without a home run in his career.
Pujols is obviously slumping with a .190 batting average and nine RBI with just the one homer, but the rest of the lineup has not been much better as the Angels have one player on the team with a .300 plus batting average: Kendrys Morales (.318 batting average).
The Angels have been below-average in the hitting department this season and have been bailed out by better pitching but they should be able to get back on track as Pujols might have found his swing.
Boston Red Sox: Just a Mess
Dustin Pedroia's comments about his own manager
The Boston Red Sox are 12-17, dead last in the AL East, and have lost six out of their last seven games (recently swept by Baltimore Orioles).
Missing multiple players out of the lineup due to injury like Jacoby Ellsbury (out until middle of June), Carl Crawford (timetable unknown) can only make the case worse.
The Boston bats have made up for the injury bug as Will Middlebrooks (who replaced Kevin Youkilis while on the DL) and Ryan Sweeney have stepped up along with veterans David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.
Boston ranks top five in most categories in terms of offensive production but their pitching has been just horrendous. No pitcher on their starting rotation has an ERA under four and their 5.35 ERA is the second worse in MLB.
The manager Bobby Valentine still has no respect from players in the clubhouse following the April 16 harsh comments he had for Kevin Youkilis.
The injuries, terrible pitching, and bad managerial techniques have led to Boston's terrible start and things do not look bright for the near future.
Philadelphia Phillies: Struggling
Cole Hamels Wanted to welcome Bryce Harper
The Philadelphia Phillies are 14-17 and last place in the National League (NL) Central.
One of their best pitchers Cole Hamels just got a five game suspension for the way he welcomed Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals to the big leagues.
The suspension means Hamels will miss a start, will lose $400K for hitting Harper and leave the Phillies without one of their best pitchers temporarily.
Besides headlines, the Phillies have been riddled with injuries. Ryan Howard is still rehabbing. Chase Utley has no timetable on his return, and the Times Herald reports that starting pitcher Cliff Lee should be returning to the rotation today after going on the DL back on April 19.
With Howard and Utley out, Laynce Nix and Ty Wigginton have really stepped up their games along with Carlos Ruiz who has been on fire.
Furthermore, the bats for the Phillies have just been too inconsistent so far, even with Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels pitching so well.
Milwaukee Brewers: Can't Do Anything Right
Alex Gonzalez Torn ACL
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The Milwaukee Brewers are 13-17, last in the NL Central and have lost eight of their last 12 games.
Brewers are in the bottom of MLB in pitching and hitting.
Ryan Braun has been the team's saving grace and has a .306 batting average, nine home runs, and 20 RBI.
However, the bad news for the Brewers is they will be without Alex Gonzalez and Matt Gamel for the remainder of the season as both players tore their ACL.
Moreover, the Brewers pitching is in the bottom five in the majors in ERA at 4.85 and nothing seems to be going right for a team that has a pretty good pitching combination in Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke.
I know it is early and there are 130 more games left in the season for most teams, but you can't deny that the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and Milwaukee Brewers have been major disappointments thus far early on.