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When we determine the reports cards for each of the teams, a lot of weight will be given to what expectations are, and if they are met are not.
There are variances with each club that come into play whereas we may say the team receives a slight pass on some of the issues they have had to endure.
The Texas Rangers come to mind with about 20 DL Stints, and the Yankees losing 4/5ths of their roster.
One thing we have definitely seen a spike in is long term injuries to pitchers and position players. It has actually leveled the field or mid to low market franchises.
Seeing Billions of dollars on the shelf for clubs that have high payroll is equaling out the playing field.
The A’s do better because their 1 – 25 roster is not much in differential between salaries, and if they occur an injury, the next man up isn’t costing them money to replace.
It has become a war of attrition out there. You even have to consider Clayton Kershaw is being paid about a $1 MIL per start.
Can you imagine if he had to go through Tommy John Surgery? I mean Tanaka is technically making just over $22.16 MIL per year he is in operation.
Enough of that chatter, that is a topic for another blog…. I digress.
Division GBL Letter Grade
1. BAL 52 – 43 – A-
When you consider this team has had brutal offense averages from Chris Davis, little power from J.J. Hardy, has been without Manny Machado for several pockets of games, and are without ALL – Star Catcher Matt Wieters, these guys have overachieved.
The management still must realize this window will be a short one where the Yankees and Red Sox are bad, so trade for some more reinforcements.
2. TOR 49 – 47 3 GBL (C+)
This team was propelled to 1st place on the strength of a superhuman power effort by Edwin Encarnacion (5 Multi HR efforts in about a month) and Mark Beuhrle’s quick 10 – 1 ace like start.
The law of averages have kicked in, and everyone else is not picking up the slack.
Jose Bautista is playing his best baseball in a few years, and the teams hold 6 double digit HR players, but there Bullpen has let them down a little bit.
Alex Anthopoulos will have another season be rippled by health.
3. NYY 47 – 47 4 GBL (C)
I gave this team a C rating simply because of injury and Pytherogen Theory suggesting they should be 4 or 5 games worse.
Joe Girardi has done another masterful job of keeping this team relevant.
T4. TB 44 – 53 – 9.5 GBL (C)
Being better of late (20 – 11) doesn’t erase a 24 – 42 start. Wil Myers hurt and having a sophomore slump.
3 of 5 Starting Pitchers have been hurt, and the Bullpen has been unlike the Rays of previous years.
Grant Balfour has been lit up far too often this season.
T4. BOS 43 – 52 9.5 (C-)
This team had everything go right for them in 2013, and 2014 is vaguely resembling the 2012 season, except there are 2 differences.
The team is loaded with young players that could shape the core of the club for many years, and the brass looks like it might be willing to trade some veterans for future years.
In 2012, the club shed itself of many dollars going forward, maybe it is time to flip some guys to save enough dough to re-sign Jon Lester.
Division GBL Letter Grade
1. DET 53 – 38 – (B-)
The reason for their letter grade is they flew out to a 27 – 12 record, before going 9 – 20, followed by a 17 – 6 final 23 games prior to the Break.
Overall Miguel Cabrera is not having his MVP season yet, although he could drive in 130 RBI still.
The Relief Core is still suspect, and should be overemphasized in shoring up for the Trade Deadline.
2. KC 48 – 46 6.5 GBL (C)
It is hard to believe that this club was slated for just 82 wins as set by oddsmakers. So why am I assessing a mark so low? It is underachieving by the offense.
Please… for the love of god… I beg you.. Release Raul Ibanez… Dude went 0 – 23 after a nice 2 game start for the club. It is not like he wasn’t hitting .153 prior to him being with KC.
Spend the cash on a big bat to aid the lineup. Also if there was ever a club who should overpay for a pitcher – it is the Royals with James Shields.
You could extend your win window by a year or 2 if you inked him (even if it is a little more than you want to pay him). Seriously, you could trade the man a few years away anyway.
3. CLE 47 – 47: 7.5 GBL (C+)
Honestly, these guys are playing way better than most people thought they would.
Terry Francona always finds a way to keep his clubs in the mix – even when the talent says no.
The Tribe are 29 – 19 at home, which is the 3rd best record in the AL to stalwarts Oakland and Los Angeles.
T4. CWS 45 – 51: 10.5 GBL: (C+)
Chris Sale and Jose Abreu both receive A’s for their contributions, while others had a good start and are slowing down.
Conor Gillaspie is improving daily.
The Pitching after Sale has been less than stellar.
On pace for about 76 wins sounds about right.
T4. MIN 44 – 50 (C+)
The Twins are actually keeping their heads above water. This despite the worst year ever for hurt 1B Joe Mauer.
Great 1st half by Kurt Suzuki as well
Be patient Minny, you guys are loaded on the farm.
Division GBL Letter Grade
1. OAK 59 – 36 – (A)
The mark is not based on their record, because they are 237 – 139 since mid 2012 (.631), however it is the manner in which the team has accomplished the feat this year.
Sean Doolittle with a historic BB/SO rate – and encompasses what the A’s are all about.
Every platoon is working.
2. LAA 57 – 37: 1.5 GBL (A)
This clubs offense is the deepest 1 – 9 team in the Majors finally.
It is amazing what happens once you got rid of Ibanez.
C.J. Cron and Kole Calhoun definitely have lengthened this lineup. Just need to keep everybody on the field in the 2nd half.
Garrett Richards has become one of the best pitchers in baseball this year.
The brass needs to pull the trigger on 1 – 2 more Bullpen arms.
3. SEA 51 – 44: 8 GBL (B-)
The Mariners have seen Robinson Cano at least turn the fortunes of the club around with his consistency.
Jack Z. needs to pull some deals to aid the offense.
The Starters looked like that Softball team in house league mens tourney’s, made up of castoffs from other squads, that decided to form their own club.
Fernando Rodney still doesn’t know how to wear a baseball cap, but he did remember to save games.
4. HOU 40 – 56: 19.5 GBL (C+)
For a squad of 111 loss variety in 2013’s end, this team has fared almost at a .500 clip since George Springer came up.
The pitching has been better than projected, and who has been hotter than Jose Altuve?
The little big man has been playing all worldly in the 1st half.
5. TEX 38 – 57: 21 GBL (C-)
You just can’t suffer 20 DL stints and have your team relevant. The bad mark has more to do with the 3 – 21 clp the team has experienced in the last 24 games.
Yu Darvish has also slowed down a little in the last few starts after carrying the club for months.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post
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