Imagine if on April 1 I had told you that the two best lefty starters in the AL were going to be Cleveland's Cliff Lee and Chicago's John Danks (or maybe the Angels' Joe Saunders and the Red Sox's Jon Lester)
I would say, "quit yer cherry-pickin' Joel Sherman!" Also, Danks is 4-4 with 66K/24BB and a 1.22 WHIP in 86 IP (not in the top 35 in for AL starters). I say "meh."
and the two that you thought it was going to be — Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia and Seattle's Erik Bedard — would be on the trading block by mid-June.
I would say, "Sabathia is only kinda sorta on the block and his contract is up. The Mariners stink/Bedard's last season may have been an abberation." Also, lefty AL starters still? Who's the best switch hitting NL catcher, Sherman?
Imagine if I had told you that a team (Oakland) that had traded its ace (Dan Haren) would have the majors' best rotation ERA
I would say, "Oakland is a well-run team that values solid pitching and has a really good farm system."
and the team (Seattle) that obtained an ace (Bedard) and signed the largest free-agent contract with a pitcher (Carlos Silva) would have the AL's worst rotation ERA.
I would say, "The Silva contract was fucking stupid."
Now we move to the point of the article, the surprise/disappointment teams.
Jesus Flores, Nationals. Was up to .308 with a .525 slugging percentage to gain the starting job on a team that had signed Met discards Paul Lo Duca and Johnny Estrada. But the Mets' problem is they lost a talented, young catcher when they did not protect Flores in the 2006 Rule 5 draft, but did protect — among others — Julio Franco, Alay Soler, Jon Adkins, Ben Johnson and Steve Schmoll.
MetsMetsMetsMetsMetsMets catcher with 120 ABs this season MetsMetsMetsMetsMetsMets.
Carl Crawford, Rays. He has produced between 54 and 63 extra-base hits over the past four seasons. He had just 17 in 2008 even with that game-altering grand slam Thursday against the Cubs.
Lay off, he's on pace for like 44 XBH this season.
Jason Giambi, Yankees. As late as May 15, Giambi was hitting .181
Now at a robust .260.
and the conversation in town was who was more washed up Giambi or Carlos Delgado? But since then, he had hit .333 with a .698 slugging percentage and 10 homers. Want the biggest surprise: It is not impossible that the Yanks will want Giambi back next year.
Not Lance Berkman, who is batting like .600 with 50 HR and 200 RBI? Or Adrian Gonzalez, who has 20 HR playing in the canyon that is PETCO? Oh wait, those guys aren't Yankees/Mets...