MLB: 10 Teams Already Done for the Year
Although the 2012 MLB season is still relatively young, some teams in both the American League and the National League are already done for the year.
While fans of these teams will probably hold out hope that they will get back into their respective divisional races, the reality is that they will have to wait at least another year before seeing them contend.
Here are 10 teams that are already finished for the season.
Kansas City Royals
2012 Record: 24-34 (4th in AL Central Division)
The Kansas City Royals are once again out of the AL Central race before it really even starts. While they certainly have some of the most exciting young hitters in the game today, they just don't have the starting pitching to contend.
The good news for Royals fans is that their young offense has the makings of becoming very good very soon. However, they must drastically improve their starting pitching if they want to make a name for themselves in the highly competitive AL Central.
2012 Record: 24-35 (5th in AL Central Division)
The Minnesota Twins are another team in the AL Central that are already done for the season. The Twins seem to be caught between rebuilding and trying to win now. While they have some good veteran hitters in their lineup, injuries to players like Joe Mauer have hindered their performance.
The Twins have also greatly struggled in the pitching department. The combination of not scoring many runs and failing to shut opposing teams down has led to the Twins being stuck in the cellar in the AL Central. It could be years before the Twins are able to contend once again.
San Diego Padres
Record: 20-41 (5th in NL West Division)
The biggest problem facing the San Diego Padres is their listless offense. They are near the very bottom of the league in every major offensive category. That does not bode well for a team that lacks great pitching as well.
Another problem for the Padres is that they play in a very tough division. They will certainly be sellers at the trade deadline, and it could be a while before the Padres are ready to contend once again.
Record: 24-35 (4th in NL West Division)
The Colorado Rockies have no problem scoring runs. They have two of the best offensive players in baseball in Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. However, they have the worst pitching in all of baseball.
That last statement was not an exaggeration. The Rockies are actually dead last in the MLB in ERA, quality starts, WHIP, and BAA. With pitching numbers that bad, the Rockies have no chance to contend this season.
Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, the two young pitchers they got last season for Ubaldo Jimenez, have not panned out in the majors so far, and the rotation is simply struggling to even turn in an acceptable outing.
Record: 20-40 (6th in NL Central Division)
It is already safe to say that the Chicago Cubs' World Series drought will not be broken this season. The Cubs have that familiar combination of poor offense and inconsistent pitching that is indicative of a bad team.
While the Cubs do have a couple of intriguing young players, it is obvious that they just don't have anywhere near the amount of pieces they need to contend. There's always next year, Cubs fans.
Record: 26-35 (4th in AL West Division)
Lack of offense is the main reason that the Oakland Athletics are already done for the season. They rank dead last or next to last in every major offensive category in all of baseball. The signing of Yeonis Cespedes has done little to improve the offense, and the Manny Ramirez signing is not expected to help much at all.
It doesn't help that the Athletics play in a division with two very talented teams in the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels. It looks like the Athletics will only be playing for third place in their division once again.
Record: 27-35 (3rd in AL West Division)
The Seattle Mariners are the team with which the Oakland Athletics will be competing for third in the AL West division this season. Similarly to Oakland, the Mariners just do not have the pitching or hitting ability to compete with the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels.
The Mariners do occasionally show flashes of good pitching. Take the combined no-hitter they threw against the Los Angeles Dodgers a few days ago for example. They also have several young players that seem to be starting to come into their own. While they certainly won't be competing this year, they could be an interesting team to watch in a couple of seasons.
Record: 26-34 (5th in NL Central Division)
The Houston Astros have been playing respectable baseball as of late, but they are still done for the season. Pitching has been their most glaring spot of weakness, and that will likely prove to be a major problem once they move into the American League next season.
Their offense, while not great, has been much improved from years past. They have several young players that are finally producing at the Major League level. While the AL will not make things any easier for the Astros, they have been playing better all-around baseball.
Boston Red Sox
Record: 29-32 (5th in AL East Division)
As usual, the Boston Red Sox have put a very potent offense on the field. However, they have not been getting anywhere close to the type of pitching they need to compete in a division that suddenly has five teams capable of winning.
While Red Sox fans will not like to hear this, the emergence of the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays as contenders and the continuing presence of the tough Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees will make it near impossible for the Red Sox to make the postseason in 2012.
Record: 29-33 (5th in NL East Division)
It may seem strange to see the Philadelphia Phillies make this list. Unfortunately for fans of the team, the Phillies are already done this season.
The Phillies have not struggled in any one obvious area. However, the level of talent that the other teams in their division are currently fielding has made the Phillies chances seem surprisingly low.
The loss of Roy Halladay for several weeks and the fact that Cliff Lee has yet to win a game this season do not bode well for the Phillies.
Follow me on Twitter @BrianBelko