2010 American League Midterm Grades

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2010 American League Midterm Grades
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

A season full of ups and downs, many surprises, thrillers, disappointments, and excitements. Here’s a look at each team through the first half of the 2010 season.

 

New York Yankees

The Yankees are again well-represented in the All-Star Game, and overall during their first 88 games. The Yanks will be sending a total of eight players to Anaheim, all of whom have been fascinating

With a total of 55 wins, which leads the league, that Yankees have scored the second most runs, RBIs, and lead the league in OBP. The pitching on the other side has also been a big key to their run with C.C Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and Andy Pettitte being the first trio from the same team to reach 11 wins before the All-Star break since Josa Lima, Mike Hampton and Shane Reynolds of the Astros in 1999.

If the Yankees continue their dominance in the toughest division, expect another World Series added to the clubhouse. Grade: A 

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay maintain the second-best record in the Major Leagues, 54-34. Here’s a young, fast, and athletic team that is able to do damage to keep up in their division and try find their way into the playoffs once again. The team leads the Major Leagues with 110 stolen bases, 26 more steals than the second place NY Mets. To tag along, the Rays starting pitching has been more than great with Jeff Niemann, David Price, and Matt Garza all showing improvement from the year before. Their closer, Rafael Soriano has been near perfect, blowing only one save and posting up a career low 1.60 ERA.

If The Rays middle of the lineup can find a way to get on base more and strike out less, this team has the urge to keep scaring other teams and possibly snatch the AL East.

Grade: A-

 

Boston Red Sox

A season full of injuries and many doubtful success, the Red Sox still remain five games out in by far the best division in baseball. Many fans doubted the starting lineup in producing and scoring runs, yet somehow Boston is near the top of the league in every major offensive category. They lead in runs scored, doubles, RBIs, OPS, and Slugging, all in which will be proven by the four All-Stars on Wednesday night.

The negative side, the pitching, especially the Bullpen. With an ERA that posts a 4.71, every reliever other than Daniel Bard have been shaky and wild during the first half.

If the Red Sox can find a way to pitch better and straighten out their Bullpen issues, they can find a way to slide into the Wild Card at the end of the season.Grade:

B+

 

Toronto Blue Jays

At one point the Jays looked like they are able to compete in the division and possibly be near the top of the division at the halfway point. But looking back, that was only two months into the season, and now they sit at a deep 12.5 games out, a number that is hard to wipe out in the AL East.

The Blue Jays, who have been punched-out 669 times this season, good for second in the American League, are having a hard time not swinging at bad pitches, considering the team is hitting .240 overall, and third to last .360 OBP in the majors.

The only success that keeps them only a game under .500, is that they are a powerful team which leads the major leagues in 136 Homeruns. Toronto has now homered at least twice in seven from eight past games, hitting a total of 21 over that span.

If this team focuses on hitting more base hits rather than going yard, it might have a chance of doing work in the second half.

Grade: C

 

Baltimore Orioles

The 2010 Baltimore Orioles have been a major disappointment, the likes of which not even the harshest critics could have seen coming. Seriously, how hard is it to win 30 games before the All-Star game? Lets face it, this team is not capable of doing anything. They have continually found ways to lose games whether it be with a flammable bullpen, or their poor hitting with runners in scoring position, or even with suspect starting pitching and defense

The team’s ERA currently sits at a high 4.99, and has not shown improvement in the past couple of months.

Before sweeping the Rangers to finish the first half, Baltimore was winless in 16 straight road series dating back to September.

The Orioles season is pretty much over. The organization needs to repair this team and start making some moves during the trade deadline.

Grade: D-

 

Chicago White Sox

When Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams first looked at this team in the beginning of the season, they both knew something was special about it. It wasn’t the fact that they had the right players, rather it was the feeling that every player on the roster never gives up and continues to fight for their spot.

The Sox found themselves 9.5 games out from the first place Twins at one point during the season. But after winning 25 of their last 30 games, and playing hard in each one of them, the Sox find themselves all alone in first place, looking down on Detroit and Minnesota.

Chicago’s pitching established a 3.68 ERA in the month of June, and a 2.02 ERA in July, which currently leads the Majors.

On the other side, the Sox are hitting .349 in their last 11 games and .332 with runners in scoring position in their last 29 games.

If the White Sox continue to get those clutch hits, and dominate their pitching game, expect them to find themselves in the playoff hunt once October comes.

Grade: B+ 

Detroit Tigers

Looking at this Tigers team, they probably have one of the best offensive lineup in the game. With four batters hitting above .300, the Tigers seem to find their way on base easily and continue to hit a sweet .275 as a team. Miguel Cabrera has been tremendous at the plate, leading the Major Leagues in both batting average and RBIs, and second in Homeruns. Carlos Guillen, Austin Jackson, and Magglio Ordonez have also contributed big for the team. But the biggest surprise has to be rookie Brennan Boesch. As an outfielder from Califonia, he’s hitting .342, with 12 homeruns and 49 RBIs.

The downside is by far their starting rotation. Starters have a combined ERA of 4.81 overall. Their best starter, Justin Verlander, has an 3.82 ERA, yet he still managed to rack up 11 wins before the break.

The Tigers shouldn’t have a hard time continuing to hit in the second half, and if they can find some solutions to the starting rotation, this team will also be hunting for first place.

Grade: B 

 

Minnesota TwinsThe reigning central champions began the season like they should be. Starting out at 30-21, they got of to a good start and showed why once again they can compete in the AL Central. Yet as the season continued, the Twins have cooled off, and are currently only sitting four games above .500, trying to play catch-up with the hot White Sox.

Minnesota is sixth in the Majors in hitting, have found their way to get on base and score runs, yet the biggest disappointed has been the double play issue. They lead all of baseball in this dubious stat, having grounded into 102 double plays.

As for something the Twins should be happy of, is the way they’ve played in the field. With only 32 errors, the fewest in baseball, they stand strong and quick with a .990 Fielding Percentage, also best in the Majors.

If Joe Mauer can be the true Joe Mauer we know, and the Twins find a strong Ace for their pitching staff, the Twins are the third team that could be contending for the AL Central.

Grade: B-

 

 

Kansas City Royals

Is it possible to have the best batting average in the Major Leagues and yet still be 10 games under .500? Just ask the Kansas City Royals, they know all about it. They Royals have pretty much done it all at the plate,(other than hitting homeruns.) This team has an outstanding .282 BA, and have collected the most hits at 862. Their worst everyday hitter is Yuniesky Betancourt, who is batting .258

It should be a no brainer to why the Royals are still the team we know them as. It’s their starting pitching. Other than Zack Greinke, non of their opening day starters have an ERA lower than 5.00. Yes you read it right, a clear 5.00 era.

The Royals are only 10.5 games out, but unless the Royals make a trade before the deadline, there’s no way they can make it past 162 games.

Grade: C-

 

Cleveland Indians

The official first half of the season is over for the Indians, and while all the talk in Cleveland still revolves around LeBron James’ decision, the Indians are sitting in last place in the AL Central.

The team is 34-54, last place in the division, 15.5 games back of the first-place Chicago White Sox, and five games back of the Kansas City Royals, the fourth place team in the division. With no pitching, no hitting, and no defense, this team has hit rock bottom trying to find a way to get out of a deep whole.

Their best hitter, Chin Soo Choo, was hitting .286, that was before he went on the DL earlier this month.

On the bright side, the Indians are 14-17 against their own division. Eight of those wins coming against the White Sox. Maybe a miracle can help them compete.

Come to think about it, the Indians are a foreshadow to what will happen to the Cavs this winter.

Grade: D

 

Texas Rangers

The Rangers went into spring training thinking that only one spot was up for grabs in the AL West. They started the year around .500 and looked like an average team that wasn’t ready for the playoffs. Comes the month of June, they snatched 21 wins from 28 games, and quickly jumped to first place, and currently have a 4.5 game lead over the second place Los Angeles Angels.

With the help of their middle of the lineup, which includes Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, and Vladimir Guerrero, the Rangers are in the top three categories of batting average, RBIs, and hits combined as a team.

The team’s overall pitching staff has been decent, placing stats that shouldn’t worry any Ranger fan.

If this team stays healthy, continues to produce runs, and finds a way for Cliff Lee to help out, the Rangers should grab the AL West in less that 92 wins.

Grade: B+

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels find themselves on the outside looking in at the All-Star break for the first time since 2006. For the first time in recent years, the Halos look to have a formidable division challenger to contend with down the stretch.

Had Kendry Morales not been hurt during a post-game celebration, the Angels would have been at the top of their division. The loss of Morales was a tremendous one, and now all the attention rests on the broad shoulders of outfielder Torii Hunter, Hideki Matsui and Juan Rivera.

LA's fielding and pitching are both among the worst in the league. That's too bad for the Halos in their battle with Texas for AL West supremacy. The starting pitching has been garbage, while the relief staff has also shown no hope.

If the Angles want to compete, the will likely need to make a trade or two to give them a shot in the arm in order to chase down Texas

Grade: B-

Oakland Athletics

Once again the A’s suffer because of their low budget and an inexperience young pitching staff, but still manage to somehow be fairly competitive. Their offensive stats are absolutely terrible, and have shown no improvement as the season went on. Kevin Kouzmanoff, Ryan Sweeney and Kurt Suzuki are the best manager Bob Geren has to offer, which is very sad come to think about.

The only highlight of 2010 that belongs to the Oakland Athletics is the perfect game Dallas Braden tossed on Mother's Day.

Oakland still has something of a chance in the West at 7 1/2 games off the pace, though if the A's fall out of contention, Geren may not last long to see these youngsters thrive at the major league level

Grade: C- 

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners have been one of the biggest disappointments this season, given their aggressive offseason approach. The ballclub landed star lefty Lee to team up with Felix Hernandez, third baseman Chone Figgins and outfielder Milton Bradley in the offseason, but all it has produced is a last- place tag in the American League West with only 35 wins.

Other than Ichiro, the Mariners has no hitting abilities what-so-ever. As a team, they are hitting .238 and have only produced 298 runs, 697 hits, 57 homers, 285 RBIs, all being the second lowest in the Majors.
The trade of Cliff Lee has pretty much signaled that they have given up on this season, and can only hope for better next season.

Grade: D

during the first half.

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