Report Cards for Every MLB Team at the Quarter Mark

Karl Buscheck@@KarlBuscheckContributor IIIMay 19, 2015

Report Cards for Every MLB Team at the Quarter Mark

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Report-card season can be a stressful time of year. Just ask clubs like the Oakland Athletics and the Milwaukee Brewers, who will be racing to their mailboxes to snag those progress reports before their owners find out just how poorly they've done.

    While Oakland and Milwaukee have been among the game's biggest duds, an array of clubs have aced the opening quarter of the MLB season.

    In the process of dishing out grades, the win-loss record was the most important factor. After all, winning games is what it's all about. For that reason, the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals earned some of the highest marks of all. 

    A heavy emphasis was placed on the performance of each team's rotation, but bullpen contributions and lineup production also factored into the equation. Plus, the respective preseason expectations of each club were also taken into consideration. And that's great news for overachievers like the Minnesota Twins.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    Not a lot has gone right for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but the arrival of Archie Bradley provides at least a glimmer of optimism. The right-handed starter has made a flawless transition to major league life, recording a 3.27 ERA in his first five outings for the D-backs.

    Rookie Yasmany Tomas has also held his own in his first go-around in the big leagues. The Cuban has only connected on a single home run, but he has managed a .329 average.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Outside of Bradley, the rotation has provided rookie skipper Chip Hale with plenty of headaches. Josh Collmenter has endured an especially frustrating start to the season. The D-backs' Opening Day starter has compiled a 5.36 ERA in his first eight outings.

    Record: 16-21; fourth place, NL West

    Grade: C-

Atlanta Braves

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    Right now, the Atlanta Braves are the big winners in the swap of Jason Heyward for Shelby Miller. According to Richard Justice of MLB.com, Miller, who has a 1.33 ERA, is the first Braves pitcher to open up a season with eight starts of two earned runs or less.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The wild bullpen has been a significant weakness for the Braves. The team's relievers have dished out 51 free passes, which is the second-most in the NL. The crew has also accounted for eight losses, which is tied for the third-most in the league.

    Record: 18-19; third place, NL East

    Grade: B

Baltimore Orioles

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    Jimmy Paredes has been hitting everything he sees in 2015.

    The 26-year-old Dominican leads the Baltimore Orioles in average (.343), slugging percentage (.606) and OPS (.981). It's still early, but the designated hitter is building a compelling case for an All-Star nod.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Last year, Chris Tillman and Bud Norris were two of the O's most consistent starting pitchers. This year, the vets have been two of Baltimore's least consistent arms.

    Per Roch Kubatko of MASN, Tillman, who has posted a 6.34 ERA, has been slowed by a balky back. Meanwhile Norris, who checks in with a 9.88 ERA, has landed on the disabled list due to a case of bronchitis, according to the team's Twitter account.

    Record: 16-19; fourth place, AL East

    Grade: C-

Boston Red Sox

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    There's no question about itBrock Holt and Hanley Ramirez have been two of the only bright spots for the Boston Red Sox in the opening quarter of 2015.

    With a .307 average and the versatility to play all over the diamond, Holt is cementing his status as one of the premier super-utility players in the game. Ramirez has made a smooth transition to Fenway Park, as the left fielder has put up a .504 slugging percentage and leads Boston with 10 big flies.

    What's Gone Wrong

    This rotation is a mess and threatens to torpedo the Red Sox's playoff chances. The starting five has been a gas can, reeling off a 5.21 ERA. The Red Sox have already brought in a new pitching coach in Carl Willis, but it's rapidly approaching the time for the AL East club to add a new arm or two via the trade front.

    The lineup has been unexpectedly unproductive for Boston. It was supposed to be a powerhouse, but instead the attack checks in at No. 25 in OPS.

    Record: 18-20; third place, AL East

    Grade: C

Chicago Cubs

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    The future has arrived at Wrigley Field.

    It's Year 1 of the Joe Maddon Era, but the Chicago Cubs are already trotting out a lineup that includes the likes of Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler and Addison Russell.

    As for the old guard, Anthony Rizzo is stepping up as one of the top first basemen in the NL. The 25-year-old has gone yard eight times for the Cubs in 2015.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Not a lot has gone amiss for the Cubs, but the team has made a bad habit of swinging and missing. The youthful NL Central team leads baseball with 363 strikeouts. Soler has been the most strikeout-prone player on the roster, going down on strikes 54 times in 37 games.

    Record: 21-16; second place, NL Central

    Grade: A-

Chicago White Sox

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    Avisail Garcia has been a monster for the Chicago White Sox. Just 23 years old, the Venezuelan checks in with a .338 average, which is tied for eighth-best in MLB.

    Jose Abreu has also been punishing opposing pitchers in 2015. The Cuban leads the White Sox with six home runs and is second on the club with an .854 OPS. While that's an impressive mark, it's over 100 points lower than the .964 OPS he posted in his rookie season.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Quality starting pitching is the cornerstone of big league success. So far, the White Sox's starting five has been far from good. Chris Sale owns the lowest ERA of the bunch with a 4.36 mark.

    Aside from Garcia and Abreu, Chicago's offense has yet to get on track. Table-setters Adam Eaton and Melky Cabrera have been particularly disappointing for the AL Central squad.

    Record: 18-17; fourth place, AL Central

    Grade: B-

Cincinnati Reds

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    The left side of the infield has been spectacular for the Cincinnati Reds. Third baseman Todd Frazier has already connected on 12 home runs, and Zack Cozart has been teeing off at the plate, as well. Cozart, who has always been known for his glove and not his bat, has added six blasts and is hitting .300.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The bullpen has been beyond bad for the Reds.

    The team's relievers clock in with a 5.17 ERA, which is the highest figure in baseball. If the Reds want to keep pace with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central, that mark has to go way down.

    Record: 18-20; tied for third place, NL Central

    Grade: C+

Cleveland Indians

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    Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    One of the most encouraging signs for the Cleveland Indians is that Jason Kipnis is back.

    The second baseman, who struggled through an injury-riddled campaign in 2014, has been raking in the opening quarter of the year. Kipnis leads all AL players at his spot with a .333 average.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The Tribe is in a similar spot as the Chicago White Sox. Simply put, the starting rotation isn't giving the offense the chance to win on a consistent basis. Cleveland's rotation has a 5.07 ERA, which is the fourth-worst in the majors.

    Already 9.5 games off the pace in the division, Cleveland has to kick it into gear ASAP, or the team will tumble out of the race for good.

    Record: 14-23; fifth place, AL Central

    Grade: D

Colorado Rockies

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    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    Nolan Arenado is well on his way to earning the first All-Star nod of his brief MLB career.

    The third baseman, who is a magician with the glove, has also been doing damage with the bat. The 24-year-old has collected 18 extra-bases hits in his first 33 contests for the Colorado Rockies in 2015.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Losers of eight of the past 10 contests, the Rockies are trending in the wrong direction. Manager Walt Weiss' team has received no help from a starting rotation that ranks last in the NL in ERA.

    It doesn't help that Carlos Gonzalez, who is supposed to be one of the team's most dynamic hitters, has been anything but. The right fielder is batting .207 and has driven in just 11 runs.

    Record: 13-22; fifth place, NL West

    Grade: F

Detroit Tigers

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    Ed Zurga/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    Much to the dismay of opposing pitchers, Miguel Cabrera is back to terrorizing the AL.

    The first baseman has put up a 1.048 OPS and has clocked 10 home runs for the Detroit Tigers. The right-handed masher recently joined exclusive company by connecting on his 400th shot. Per the MLB Stat of the Day Twitter account, Cabrera became one of just 15 players ever to crack that milestone before the end of his age-32 season.

    Shortstop Jose Iglesias and center fielder Anthony Gose, who have been indispensable to the Tigers attack, are also worthy of honorable mentions.

    What's Gone Wrong

    With a 23-16 record, not a lot has gone wrong in Motown.

    One area of minor concern has been the starting staff. Currently, Alfredo Simon, the owner of a 3.04 ERA, is Detroit's most reliable starter. As the trade deadline approaches, president, CEO and general manager Dave Dombrowski will have to ponder the idea of adding an arm to bolster that group.

    Record: 23-16; second place, AL Central

    Grade: A

Houston Astros

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    It would be difficult to script a more encouraging start to the 2015 season for the Houston Astros. The upstart club owns a 5.5-game edge atop the American League West.

    One of the keys for the Astros has been that the squad finally has a reliable bullpen. Headlined by closer Luke Gregerson, the relief corps has put up the second-best ERA in baseball.

    What's Gone Wrong

    It's been feast or famine for Houston's bats. The team has the most bombs in the bigs (57) but also strikes out at an alarming rate, posting the second-most whiffs (356) in MLB.

    Record: 25-14; first place

    Grade: A

Kansas City Royals

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    For the Kansas City Royals, it's been all about the lockdown pen and timely hitting.

    The Royals' relief corps has been shutting the door on everybody in 2015. The group has the lowest ERA in baseball, and it's not even close. The mark stands at 1.60; the next closest is the Houston Astros at 2.15.

    At the plate, the Royals have demonstrated an uncanny knack for stepping up and delivering clutch hits. As a team, Kansas City has a .304 average and an .854 OPS with runners in scoring position and two outs.

    What's Gone Wrong

    For a club sporting a 24-14 record, the rotation has been surprisingly poor. The starters rank No. 23 in ERA (4.46) and No. 24 in innings pitched (211.2). Danny Duffy (5.87) and Yordano Ventura (5.36) have been the two biggest duds of all.

    Record: 24-14; first place, AL Central

    Grade: A

Los Angeles Angels

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    Garrett Richards and Hector Santiago are flat-out dealing atop the Los Angeles Angels starting rotation.

    Richards, who has limited the opposition to a .169 average, has picked up right where he left off last summer before a knee injury wrecked his campaign. Meanwhile, Santiago is enjoying a career year, as the lefty has put up a 2.41 ERA, which is a full run below his career mark.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The Angels' bats have been MIA in 2015.

    The defending AL West winners have posted a .647 OPS as a team, which ranks No. 29 in baseball. As a group, the Angels rank No. 27 with a .235 average. Three of the biggest culprits in the underwhelming attack have been Albert Pujols who's hitting .232, David Freese who checks in at .230 and Matt Joyce who's swinging at a clip of .143.

    Record: 19-19; second place, AL West

    Grade: B

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    The Los Angeles Dodgers offense has been unreal.

    As a group, the NL West leaders have posted an .819 OPS. The Dodgers have been getting production from players up and down the lineup, but one hitter who's worth singling out is Alex Guerrero. In just 63 at-bats, the Cuban has already cracked four doubles, one triple and six home runs.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Injuries have not been kind to the starting staff.

    Hyun-Jin Ryu has yet to throw a pitch in 2015; he's rebounding from a shoulder injury, and it's unclear just when he will. Manager Don Mattingly didn't sound overly confident about the lefty's status, telling Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that Ryu is still “in the question-mark phase as far as when he’s going to throw next.”

    Brandon McCarthy won't be throwing anytime soon, either. The right-hander is out for the season as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery.

    Record: 24-13; first place, NL West

    Grade: A

Miami Marlins

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    Dee Gordon just won't stop getting hits. The Miami Marlins' table-setter has collected 63 knocks in his first 36 games on his way to posting a .406 average.

    Dan Haren, who was acquired along with Gordon in an offseason swap with the Los Angeles Dodgers, has also been a consistent contributor for Miami. The veteran right-hander is 4-2 with a 3.47 ERA in eight trips to the hill.

    What's Gone Wrong

    From injuries to Jose Fernandez and Henderson Alvarez to a train wreck of a season for deposed closer Steve Cishek, a lot has gone wrong for the Fish.

    Even with the early turbulence, the Marlins have a lot of time to turn the year around. The club is in the cellar in the NL East but is only seven games out of the top spot in the division.

    The Record: 16-23; fifth place, NL East

    The Grade: D

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    It was an awfully quiet offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers. The most notable acquisition for the club was Adam Lind. In the first quarter of 2015, the left-handed hitter has proved to be a shrewd addition. In 37 games, Lind has six round-trippers and a .910 OPS.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The Brew Crew's mess of a rotation has been the squad's downfall in 2015. None of the team's starters has excelled so far, but Kyle Lohse (5.85 ERA) and Matt Garza (5.72 ERA) have been Milwaukee's least reliable arms of all.

    Record: 14-25; fifth place, NL Central

    Grade: F

Minnesota Twins

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    The Minnesota Twins never got the memo that 2015 was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Left for dead before the season even began, they are just three games off the pace in the wildly competitive AL Central.

    The Twins roster is flooded with high-upside young players, and so far Kyle Gibson has been one of the most promising of all. The right-handed starter has been the best arm on the staff, posting a 2.98 ERA.

    What's Gone Wrong

    While Gibson has been cruising, the rest of the rotation remains a question mark. Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco have been especially confounding. The opposition is battering Hughes to the tune of a .293 average, and Nolasco has reeled off an unsightly 6.38 ERA.

    Record: 21-17; third place

    Grade: A

New York Mets

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    No team has received more production from its starting rotation than the New York Mets have. The NL East leaders' staff has posted a 3.06 ERA, which is the lowest mark in baseball. Matt Harvey, who has a 5-1 record and a 1.98 ERA, has so far been the star of the show.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The Mets' bats have done a terrible job of supporting the team's outstanding pitching staff.

    New York has posted a .663 OPS, which is the fourth-worst in baseball. Michael Cuddyer, who was brought in during the winter to bolster the attack, has been of little help, as he's hitting .239.

    Record: 23-16; first place, NL East

    Grade: A-

New York Yankees

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    Alex Rodriguez can still rake.

    The 39-year-old designated hitter has been surprisingly productive for the New York Yankees in his first big league action since 2013. A-Rod is second on the first-place squad in home runs (10), slugging percentage (.563) and OPS (.913). At the quarter mark, he is a legitimate contender to land an All-Star berth.

    What's Gone Wrong

    One of the most remarkable parts of the Yankees' first-place start is that the club has done so with Masahiro Tanaka on the shelf.

    The Japanese right-hander, who is sidelined with forearm and wrist injuries, has only made four starts for the Yankees in 2015. According to Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com, his fifth start could come in the not-too-distant future. Marchand reports that Tanaka could be just a couple of minor league rehab starts from rejoining the rotation.

    Record: 22-17; first place, AL East

    Grade: A

Oakland Athletics

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    The quick answer is not a lot.

    With a 1.61 ERA, Sonny Gray continues to emerge as one of the premier arms in the AL and is proving that he'll one day be a $200 million starter when he hits the free-agent block.

    Stephen Vogt and Josh Reddick have been the Oakland Athletics two most consistent contributors at the plate, and then there's the rise of Billy Burns. The center fielder, who can absolutely fly, is beginning to demonstrate that he can hit enough to wreak havoc on the basepaths with his wheels.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The quick answer is pretty much everything.

    The two most glaring weaknesses for the last-place club have been the dumpster fire of a bullpen and the shoddy defense. Oakland's relievers have racked up a 4.89 ERA and have already accounted for an MLB-worst 12 losses.

    The team's glove work has been spectacularly bad, as the club has committed 43 errors. That's 11 more miscues than the second-worst team (Texas). Shortstop Marcus Semien has been the poster boy of the defensive struggles, compiling 15 errors. For context, the Miami Marlins have 14 errors as a team.

    Thanks to the combustible pen and the porous defense, Oakland is already a staggering 11.5 games out of first place.

    Record: 14-26; fifth place, AL West

    Grade: F

Philadelphia Philles

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    Freddy Galvis sure has taken advantage of the opportunity to become the Philadelphia Phillies' everyday shortstop.

    The 25-year-old, who hit just .176 in 2014, has been an entirely different player in the first quarter of the current campaign. The Venezuelan hasn't demonstrated much power with just four extra-base hits, but he does own a .341 average.

    What's Gone Wrong

    While Galvis has been excelling, the rest of the lineup hasn't been doing much of anything at all. The Phillies rank last in runs, homers and OPS in 2015. Chase Utley is worth a dishonorable mention. The veteran second baseman has posted a .143 average and a .474 OPS in 35 games.

    Record: 17-23; fourth place, NL East

    Grade: D

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    Starling Marte has been the Pittsburgh Pirates' most dangerous hitter in 2015. The 26-year-old has clubbed eight home runs and has posted an .871 OPS.

    On the mound, A.J. Burnett (1.38 ERA) and Gerrit Cole (2.40 ERA) have been the standouts for skipper Clint Hurdle's pitching staff.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Andrew McCutchen is finally starting to emerge from his early-season funk. The center fielder is still batting just .233 on the year, but the recent results have been highly encouraging for the Bucs. Over the past 10 contests, McCutchen is batting .303 with a couple of shots and eight RBI.

    Record: 18-20; tied for third place, NL Central

    Grade: C+

San Diego Padres

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    A year after scoring the fewest runs in the bigs, the San Diego Padres have cured their offensive woes. With left fielder Justin Upton leading the way with 10 home runs, the Pads have rocketed up the leaderboard in 2015. At the one-quarter mark, San Diego is third in the NL in runs.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The bullpen has been the weak link for the Padres in the early goings of the season. Last year, the group had the second-best ERA in baseball. This time around, the relief corps has dropped to the No. 26 in the rankings and has given up the second-most homers (18) in the Majors.

    Record: 19-20; third place, NL West

    Grade: C+

San Francisco Giants

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    Set to become a free agent at the end of the season, Tim Lincecum is making some serious coin with his fast start.

    The 31-year-old righty has put up a 2.43 ERA for the San Francisco Giants, which is the best mark of any pitcher in the starting five.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Casey McGehee is not the answer at third base.

    The vet, who was brought in to take over for Pablo Sandoval, has produced a .202 average in his brief Giants tenure. The worst part about McGehee's early struggles is that the right-handed hitter has grounded into 12 doubles plays, which is tied for the most in the majors.

    Fortunately, San Francisco might have found its replacement for The Panda in the 24-year-old Matt Duffy, who is batting .304 in 26 games.

    Record: 20-18; second place, NL West

    Grade: B+

Seattle Mariners

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    Nelson Cruz has been a menace to AL pitchers.

    The right fielder, who has already smashed 15 yard shots, is the runaway leader for offseason signing of the year.

    Felix Hernandez is also worth a shout-out. King Felix has been crushing the league early on with a 2.30 ERA. The starter also continues to write his name into the record books. Per ESPN Stats & Info, he recently became the fourth-youngest pitcher ever to hit the 2,000 strikeout plateau.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Last year, the M's pen was electric. This year, not so much.

    The team's relievers have already piled up 10 losses. That's not a strong recipe for earning a trip to October. Plus, as Jon Morosi of Fox Sports notes, Seattle's relievers only dropped 20 contests in all of 2014.

    Another disappointment for the Mariners has been the middling start of Robinson Cano. With one jack and a .647 OPS, the second baseman has been far from dynamic.

    Record: 17-20; third place, AL West

    Grade: C

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Tom Gannam/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    It's easy enough to understand why the St. Louis Cardinals have won a league-best 25 ballgames. Simply put, from the bullpen to the rotation to the lineup, the Cards are the strongest all-around team.

    While players have been contributing all across the roster, one Cardinal who has really broken out is Kolten Wong. The 24-year-old second baseman is hitting .304 and has five homers for the reigning NL Central champs.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The Cardinals will have to do without staff ace Adam Wainwright for the remainder of the 2015 season. So far, St. Louis has yet to settle on a full-time replacement for the right-hander. Per the team's Twitter account, the oft-injured Jaime Garcia is the next pitcher who will get a crack at stepping in for Wainwright.

    Record: 25-13; first place

    Grade: A+

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    What's Gone Right

    The Tampa Bay Rays have a knack for exceeding expectations.

    That's certainly been the case when it comes to journeyman second baseman Logan Forsythe. The 28-year-old has been a key cog in the lineup for the Rays, posting a .300 average.

    Chris Archer has been the anchor of the sneaky good rotation. The 26-year-old is sporting a 2.47 ERA and has put up 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Considering the team's injury situation, that's just the start that the Rays needed from the righty.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The Rays haven't had any luck on the injury front.

    Tampa Bay has 10 players on the disabled list including big-time arms like Alex Cobb, Matt Moore and Drew Smyly. Maybe the Rays are just getting all of their bad luck out of the way early. The club had better hope that's the case, because it won't be possible to keep pace in the East if quality contributors keep going down.

    Record: 21-18; second place, AL East

    Grade: A

Texas Rangers

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    Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    The Texas Rangers are languishing in fourth place in the West, but at least the team is getting some value from high-priced vets Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo.

    With an .898 OPS and five homers, Fielder is back to his vintage form. As the first baseman explained to Michael Florek of the Dallas Morning News, part of the revival is due to his decision to ditch a batting glove.

    “Now I’ve got to stick with it,” said Fielder after the experiment worked. “Hands are sore as (expletive) though.”

    Choo has also woken up at the plate. After an ugly April, the outfielder is rolling along with .347 average in May.

    On the mound, Nick Martinez has been one of the biggest breakout stars of 2015. The right-hander has ripped off a 1.88 ERA in his first eight outings.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Yu Darvish and Derek Holland—the Rangers' top two starters—have combined to throw a grand total of one inning in 2015. That's a formula for disaster and the kind of uphill battle that would be nearly insurmountable for any big league team.

    Record: 16-22; fourth place, AL West

    Grade: C

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    The Toronto Blue Jays have plenty of bats. Offseason additions Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson have both produced OPS numbers north of .900, and the team is tops in the majors in runs.

    As for the arms, reliever Roberto Osuna has been a phenom at the Rogers Centre. The 20-year-old Mexican has been lights-out for Toronto, spinning off a 0.86 ERA.

    What's Gone Wrong

    The starting staff has been the Achilles' heel in 2015. The opposition has teed off on the rotation, putting up a .277 average. Unsurprisingly, all those hits have resulted in the staff serving up a 5.29 ERA, which is the worst mark in the majors.

    Record: 18-22; fifth place, AL East

    Grade: C-

Washington Nationals

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    What's Gone Right

    With eight wins in the last 10 games, the Washington Nationals have officially put their wobbly start in the rearview mirror.

    One player who's been locked in since Day 1 is Bryce Harper. The 22-year-old, who's rolling along with a 1.206 OPS, is the early front-runner for the NL MVP Award.

    What's Gone Wrong

    Stephen Strasburg hasn't been his usual dominant self in 2015.

    The 26-year-old right-hander is sporting a 5.98 ERA after his first eight appearances for the Nats. While the elevated ERA is troubling, one positive note for Strasburg is that he's still producing plenty of swings-and-misses. In 40.2 frames, he has totaled 42 strikeouts.

    Record: 22-17; second place, NL East

    Grade: B+

    Note: All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com.

    If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.

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