By Cody Straub and Taylor Groff –
Cody Straub: PM Nation is making another rare appearance this year to take an in depth look at the first quarter of the MLB season. There is still tons of baseball to be played, but it seems like just yesterday it was opening day in the MLB and now quarter of the season is already behind us. With that being said, we will take a look at our most surprising team along with our most disappointing team so far this season and our take on who would win the MVP if the season ended today.
Taylor Groff: For me the Florida Marlins have been the most surprising team in baseball. As of right now, they are 5th in the power rankings. They’re (24-17) and only two games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. Their pitching staff is led by arguably baseball’s best pitcher Josh Johnson followed by Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco. Even with all-star shortstop Hanley Ramirez struggling the Marlins have had a respectable line-up 1-8. The biggest surprise this season for the Marlins has to be Gaby Sanchez who is hitting .325 with 26 rbi’s and an OBP of .406. If the Marlins keep winning they could possible take the division from slumping Phillies or squeak in with the wild card.
CS: The Marlins are exceeded everyone’s expectations it just too bad they can’t even fill their stadium half full because I think they could make the NL East race with the Phillies interesting all summer long.
The most surprising team for me has to be the Cleveland Indians. Before the season started everyone just penciled them into last place in the American League Central Division, but here we are a quarter of the way through the season and they have a five game lead in the division and are 12 games above .500. This team has a great mix of young hitters and veteran hitters in their very balanced lineup to go along with a very young pitching staff that has exceeded everyone’s expectations so far. I don’t know if they can keep this up all season, I just don’t see enough talent on their roster, but that’s what people said coming into the season and they’ve proved them wrong so far, so you never know.
I’m going to stay in the AL Central for my most disappointing team, the Minnesota Twins. The biggest problem for the Twins, is their so called superstar hitters aren’t producing. Joe Mauer has only played 9 games this season with a .235 batting average, and Justin Morneau is hitting .231 with only 1 home run. These guys were suppose to be the main producers for their lineup and without them producing the Twins have no chance to compete. The Twins are such a disappointment so far this season because with their performances the last few years they have earned a reputation as one of the better teams in the league.
TG: The most disappointing team has to be the New York Yankees. The Yankees veterans Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada are not producing any runs and have been the teams weakest links. The only bright spot for the Yankees this season is how productive Curtis Granderson has been. With all that said I think that Granderson might be on his way to winning an MVP award.
CS: My MVP so far this season is Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. Many people thought his break out season last year was a fluke, but he continues to put up impressive numbers so far this season. He leads the league with a .372 batting average and 16 home runs, and is the major reason why the Blue Jays are competing in the tough AL East. Well that’s all we got for today, stay tuned for possibly more PM Nation’s but ‘ll warn you Taylor has a pretty bad case of senioritis so this may be enough work for him.