ALL – Star Break MLB Report Cards – National League

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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Division             GBL Letter Grade

NL EAST

T1.  WSH 51 – 42: – (C+)

Have dealt with a plethora of injuries to Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Adam LaRoche and Doug Fister.

Jayson Werth had a nice hot streak right before the end of the 1st half.

The team with limited flaws has just not taken off like it should.

Gio Gonzalez hasn’t found his form yet.

T1.  ATL 52 – 43: – (B-)

This team has a nice 14 – 6 stretch to end the 1st half.

When you consider the club has withstood year ending injuries to Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Gavin Floyd.

Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton are making 25% of the team payroll and are posting anemic numbers.  The older Upton has done better in the last 10 games.

Evan Gattis and Freddie Freeman have kept the team afloat, and whenever Justin Upton hits, this team wins.

A great patchwork job done by the Starting Pitchers replacements.  Aaron Harang and Alex Wood have done spade work.

Still one of the best Bullpens in the game.

3. NYM  45 – 50:  7 GBL (C+)

The Mets are hanging in despite no offensive flair.  Daniel Murphy has been the most consistent threat, and he maybe traded soon.

David Wright and Curtis Granderson with decent stints of play, however are underperforming for the dough they are making.

It looks like the team made the right decision with Lucas Duda.

The Bullpen has survived without Parnell.

If this team can win 75 games, that would be a swell season.

4.  MIA 44 – 50:  7.5 GBL: (B-)

A hot start to the campaign, aided by a heavy home schedule to begin, put this team in 1st for a heavy stretch.

Giancarlo Stanton may finally win his 1st HR championship.  Casey McGehee should win the NL Comeback Player Of The Year with his effort.

The veterans have helped the young core.

Henderson Alvarez made the ALL – Star Game, and is part of a decent core of young starters.

Like the Mets, doing okay with losing their young ace to Tommy John Surgery in Jose Fernandez

5.  PHI 42 – 53: 9.5 (C-)

The Pitching Staff has been atrocious thus far.  Cliff Lee was hurt for half of the year.  Cole Hamels missing the 1st month was detrimental.

Domonic Brown may have been a flash in the pan last year.

The team is 11 games below .500 – even with decent production from Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and a career best start for Marlon Byrd.

Division            GBL   Letter Grade

NL CENTRAL

1. MIL 53 – 43: (B+)

The Brewers are a few games under .500 for the last few months, but have fared well overall.

Carlos Gomez has been full money for his position, Scooter Gennett, Jonathan Lucroy and Khris Davis have performed admirably.

Ryan Braun is not the same caliber player he was in MVP years, but he hasn’t fallen that much.

Kyle Lohse continues to get it done year after year without much fanfare from the rest of baseball, and Francisco Rodriguez pitching like he did in his early days with the Angels.

Only Jean Segura has struggled.

2.  STL 52 – 44: 1.0 GBL: (C+)

The team’s depth takes hits every single year, and this early part of this campaign exposed that.

It is safe to say the team wont hit as well with RISP ever as they did last year, and this masked some flaws the club had.

I believe it is time to arm the squad with some more seasoned veterans.

A big bopper in the middle of the lineup (maybe Adrian Beltre) would help the lineup a lot.

Losing Yadier Molina a few years ago almost cost the Cardinals a playoff spot, and this team will be hard pressed to soldier on.

Adam Wainwright (ASG aside) has been great in the 1st 3 months of the year.

The young staff should be monitored in the 2nd half, with back to back full years of pitching – after spending lots of time in the Minors.

3.  CIN 51 – 44: 1.5 GBL (B-)

The Reds are 48 – 36 since a 3 – 8 start.  A lot of this has come on the heels of the new young core offensive players of: Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco and Billy Hamilton.

Johnny Cueto has been superb.  Alfredo Simon is throwing as well as could be, and the team now has Mat Latos back.

Homer Bailey and Mike Leake provide the club with the deepest rotation in the division.

Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton are the new “Nasty Boys”.

It will be incumbent on the brass to make a move for depth with injuries to Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto.

4.  PIT 49 – 46: 3.5 GBL: (C+)

The team struggled for offense until the team called up Gregory Polanco.

Andrew McCutchen could very well be the NL MVP again before too long.

Neil Huntington has a chance to make his mark with a heavy trade or 2.

This team must pounce on the chance to gain ground with injuries to Cincinnati and St. Louis, and the Brewers slowing down their early momentum.

Being in the lower 20% of payroll is not cool for this franchise if they want to contend.

5.  CHC 40 – 54: 12 GBL (C+)

The club ended the 1st half with a 2 – 8 spell, and pretty much been bad since trading Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

Anthony Rizzo is a much more patient hitter now, and is challenging for the HR crown, and operating a near .400 OBP.

Depth in the Minors is ascending fast.  Could be one of the best clubs in a few seasons.

Chris Coghlan, Justin Ruggiano and Emilio Bonifacio (all ex Miami Marlins) have had spots in the year where they have played exceedingly well.

They are being perpetually beat up by the rest of the NL Central.

 Division     GBL   Letter Grade

NL WEST

1. LAD 54 – 43: – (C+)

This underachieving team was headed for a C- until Clayton Kershaw came back and the team has been 11 games over .500 since.

Maybe the MLB will learn 15 hour plane rides is not a good way to start the year.

Matt Kemp is a shell of his former self.  Yasiel Puig shook of showing up 26 LBS overweight to be hitting .300+/.400+/.500+.

Adrian Gonzalez was pistol hot to start the season, but has cooled down.

The 1 – 4 pitching rotation is superb and this team should take off in 2nd half.  Maybe not 42 – 8, but I think they should still win 95 games.

2. SF 52 – 43: 1.0 GBL (B-)

A rough month to end the 1st half has curbed some of the momentum of this team.  At one point they were up 9.5 Games on everyone in the Division.

Tim Lincecum threw another no – hitter, and then has been dominant in subsequent starts afterwards.  He is reminding us of his Cy Young self.

The team’s depth was relied upon heavily to start the year when the club lost Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt to lengthy injuries.

Tim Hudson is a perfect compliment for the club’s demeanor.  Buster Posey should light it up in the 2nd half – along with Pablo Sandoval.

Angel Pagan will be missed in the lineup until he returns.

3. SD 41 – 54: 12 GBL (C-)

The Padres were not built very wisely as a roster, and it cost the GM his job.  Too many health problems from guys that can’t stay on the field.

The Pitching is okay, but it should be with playing in Petco Park.

Once they trade away the bulk of their veterans, don’t look for the 2nd half to be much better.

4. COL 40 – 55: 13 GBL (C+)

Every year they blast their way out of the gate, and every year they are at rock bottom by the summer.

Troy Tulowitzki is playing his best baseball ever – and could still threaten for the Triple Crown if he can start raking in some more RBI.

His talents will be wasted in forms of the MVP race.

If you play fantasy baseball, or live in Denver, this team has your attention all the time, otherwise they are pretty much a non-factor in the scope of this baseball season now.

5. ARI 40 – 56: 13.5 GBL (D+)

They lost in Australia to begin the year – and haven’t stopped.

Both of their top acquisitions (Mark Trumbo and Bronson Arroyo) has massive injuries in the 1st half.

This added to the pressure of the club losing Patrick Corbin with Tommy John Surgery (just like Arroyo and teammate David Hernandez) he is out for the year.

Some people will pay with their jobs for this fiasco.

 *** 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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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at http://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/
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