One month means nothing in baseball, but after about an eighth of the season behind us, it’s safe to say that the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and the San Diego Padres are the most disappointing teams up to this point, although it doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance of a comeback.
Be it offensive talent that has to start hitting soon (like Konerko for the Sox), or injuries that have really made it a terrible start (both the Blue Jays and the Padres), things might be looking up for these three teams after a couple of weeks in May.
Chicago White Sox (10-14)
They have scored three runs or less in half of their games so far this season. This means Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, hitting a combined .183/.249/.360 for the season, with just one more walk combined than teammate Alex Rios has on his won. While Konerko is still doing better than the crashing Dunn, since 2002, of the 64 months where Konerko has compiled at least 75 plate appearances, his current .308 wOBA would be his 11th-worst mark.
The pitching has been what’s keeping this team together, both starters and revilers ranked in the top 10 in the whole of baseball. If the offense, or at least Konerko, stars hitting like it should be, the return of John Danks to the rotation should be another bonus in a season that should be much better than how April turned out to be.
San Diego Padres (9-16)
The Padres started out winning only once in their first 12 games, but have gone 7-6 over the last couple of weeks, with a few promising signs that might mean this isn’t going to be another terrible season at the cellar of the NL West. Andrew Cashner getting a place in the lineup seems to be working quite well, while the return off the DL of Chase Headley allowed San Diego to move Jedd Gyorko over to second base, which bumped Alexi Amarista into the utility role to which he is better suited.
There are problems – Cameron Maybin is hitting .091, although they’re quite pleased with his defense. Jason Marquis and Clayton Richard haven’t been exactly successful in the rotation, but the Padres are waiting for Joe Wieland and Cory Luebke to make midseason returns. Will Venable and Carlos Quentin should be better as the season progresses. Not too bad considering a terrible start.
Toronto Blue Jays (9-17)
Jose Reyes is on the disabled list until at least the All-Star break. The day after he got hurt, Sergio Santos joined him on the DL, and Josh Johnson might be next. Oh, and R.A. Dickey and Jose Bautista have dealt with intermittent injury problems as well. Not looking too good.
The team is 3-7 in one-run games so far, showing that they might not be so bad, and a little bit of luck is all they need. Brett Lawrie, another player who started off injured, is heating up lately. Melky Cabrera has had a slow start as well, with a .271 wOBA that his worst so far in his career. However, when it comes to peripheral statistics, though, nearly all of his rates are similar to his marks from last season, when he won the National League batting title.
J.A. Happ is the team’s best starter at the moment, but Dickey and Brandon Morrow should be the ones holding that “title” soon enough. Closer Casey Janssen has been incredible, and if the offensive talent starts playing like it was projected to, the Blue Jays won’t be in the bottom of the AL East for much longer.