Monday, January 16th, 2017

The 2014 baseball season is at the quarter mark and it’s been quite an interesting start.

The Cubs own the worst record (16-28) in baseball and are pretty much preparing for 2015.

The Oakland Athletics own the best record in the majors (30-16) and still sport the 4th lowest payroll in baseball. Their run differential currently sits at a ridiculous +96.

Who’s the biggest disappointment so far? 

The Arizona Diamondbacks. They own the second worst ERA in the majors, have a run differential of -66 and currently sit 11.5 games back in the NL West. Not far behind them for biggest disappointment this season has to be the Red Sox. They have been terrible at home, have lost 8 of their last 10 games and just can’t get anything going offensively.

Who are the biggest surprises so far?

The Colorado Rockies are an offensive juggernaut, currently leading the league in runs (255), on base percentage (.344), slugging percentage (.488) and batting average (.296).  However, they sit three games behind San Francisco in the NL West.

The Miami Marlins are surprising a lot of people this year. Almost everyone figured they would be in the basement of majors again entering this season.  They finished last year 62-100, good for the 2nd worst record in the majors.  They were dead last in numerous offensive categories last year. This year, the Marlins offense is ranked 6th in runs scored and batting average and sit only 1.5 games back on the NL East.

Other notes….

Yasiel Puig is still Yasiel Puig. The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder has been labeled as “immature” and “undisciplined” since he arrived in the big leagues in June 2013. While it’s easy to knock a player for showing up late to games or missing the cutoff man from time to time, you can’t argue with how much Puig has meant to winning in Los Angeles.

I Can’t Knock Tanaka…..

Whether it was my dislike for the Yankees or the doubt I had surrounding all the hype, I have to admit I was wrong about Masahiro Tanaka (so far). He’s currently 6-1 with a 2.39 ERA and a 73:8 strikeout to walk ratio in 64 innings. It’s been mostly smooth sailing for Tanaka, excluding his last start on the road against the Cubs.

I still think that once he faces more teams and league gets more tape on him, teams will start to see patterns and adjust.  Still, he’s put together an impressive start so far.

The Return of Albert Pujols….

Pujols signed a colossal $240 million contract over 10 years two years ago. Since his signing, Pujols has suffered slumps and injuries, resulting in him appearing in just 99 games and hitting just .258 with 64 RBIs (both career lows).

Pujols has put together a nice 2014 campaign. His .273 batting average is still down from his career numbers, but his 13 home runs and 31 RBIs so far put him well on pace for another big year.