Most impressive team of the week: San Francisco Giants. The Giants are the best team in baseball, and we’ve pretty much moved past the point where we can write their hot start off as a fluke. The team has won two-thirds of their games so far this season, hasn’t lost a series since dropping two out of three in Pittsburgh at the beginning of May, and has lost just one series at AT&T Park all year – ironically, their home opener weekend series with the Diamondbacks. If you want to point at the biggest reason for their success, its their pitching staff – the Giants bullpen and rotation are both top ten in all of baseball, which is par for the course for them. If the Dodgers don’t get hot and the Giants stay healthy, they might have the division wrapped up before the trade deadline.
Honorable mentions: Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Washington Nationals
Least impressive team of the week: Colorado Rockies. Remember when the Rockies were a surprise contender? Two weekends ago, they were 27-22 and everything was fine. Since their 3-1 win over the Braves in Atlanta on May 24th, Colorado is just 2-11. Their nine game road trip to Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Cleveland ended with a 2-7 record. Their ten-game homestand against the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Braves has been a disaster so far, as the team is just 1-5 and still has four games left with Atlanta this week. The Rockies are now four games under .500, and while that may not be a death sentence in the weak National League, the unbelievable start to the season by the Giants has put the Rockies 12.5 games back in the NL West, hot start of their own be damned.
Dishonorable mentions: Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays
Most impressive hitter of the week: Dexter Fowler. Fowler has had a bit of a disappointing start to the year, and really, his week didn’t do a ton to improve his line for the season – he’s still hitting just .277/.393/.395, and has only homered four times and stolen six bases. But that doesn’t mean his week wasn’t *good* – Fowler hit .524/.630/.857, walked six times, struck out just twice, and hit a homer. Along with George Springer and Jose Altuve, he’s been one of the main reasons for Houston’s offensive revitalization this year. This team is really starting to gel as of late, and if Fowler can keep walking at a double digit clip at the top of the Astros lineup, maybe they can make a late run at .500 this year.
Honorable mentions: Adrian Beltre, Nick Castellanos, Alex Gordon, Troy Tulowitzki
Least impressive hitter of the week: Adrian Gonzalez. The Dodgers are starting to struggle, sitting at just two games above .500 for the season. Gonzalez’s disastrous past week didn’t do much to help them get back in the win column, as he had just one single in 25 plate appearances for the week. A lot of this had to do with bad luck – Gonzalez wasn’t striking out a ton (only five times) and still had a line drive rate over 20%. But still, this wasn’t a good look.
Dishonorable mentions: Omar Inafnte, Derek Jeter, Justin Morneau, Dayan Viciedo
Most impressive pitcher of the week: Felix Hernandez. This guy is the best pitcher in baseball right now, and it’s not even close. His 3.7 fWAR is better than every *hitter* (let alone every pitcher) in baseball aside from Troy Tulowitzki. Last week, Hernandez threw 14 innings over two starts, struck out 23, and walked just one. Somehow, he also gave up two runs in the process. And because life isn’t fair, he only went 1-0. Hernandez is an absolute joy to watch on the hill, and while I hate to pick against Jordan Zimmermann after the equally as incredible week he had, I can’t sell Hernandez short.
Honorable mentions: Henderson Alvarez, Scott Kazmir, Justin Masterson, Jordan Zimmermann
Least impressive pitcher of the week: Ubaldo Jimenez. The Jimenez saga in Baltimore is one that is getting out of control. He only made two starts last week, but still managed to strike out seven and walk nine in eight innings. Yeah, a lot of that damage came in Jimenez’s disastrous start against the A’s on Sunday, but he didn’t even make it through the sixth inning on Tuesday against the Rangers. Over the course of the season, Jimenez has gotten through the sixth inning just five times in 13 starts, and just three of those starts qualified as quality. For the season, his ERA is now at 5.01. Only three and a half years left, Orioles fans…
Dishonorable mentions: Jorge de la Rosa, Samuel Deduno, Tim Lincecum, Nick Masset
This week in Tommy John surgeries: Duke Welker, Daniel Moskos
Notable newly disabled players: A.J. Pollock, Mike Carp, Juan Lagares, Wellington Castillo, Josh Reddick, Carlos Gonzalez, Alexi Ogando, Jordan Lyles, Miguel Gonzalez, Jedd Gyorko, Tyler Thornburg, Mike Adams, Gerrit Cole
Notable newly healthy players: Jose Abreu, Josh Hamilton, Ryan Cook, Ryan Zimmerman, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Beltran, Tanner Scheppers, Carlos Santana, Matt Cain, Tommy Hunter, Mike Napoli
Notable transactions: Red Sox promote Stephen Drew from AAA, Astros sign Jon Singleton to five-year contract extension and promote him from AAA, Cubs designate Jose Veras for assignment, Angels promote Cam Bedrosian from AAA, Marlins sign Kevin Gregg, Rockies designate Jordan Pacheco for assignment, Astros demote Marc Krauss to AAA, Marlins demote Derek Dietrich to AAA, Rockies promote Eddie Butler from AAA, Rays designate Josh Lueke for assignment, Twins sign Kendrys Morales, Twins designate Jason Kubel for assignment, Mets demote Travis d’Arnaud to AAA
Major league debuts: Wilking Rodriguez, Jesse Hahn, Cam Bedrosian, Jon Singleton, Jose Ramirez, Eugenio Suarez, Justin Bour, Jacob Realmuto, Eddie Butler, Miguel Rojas, Kirby Yates
Enjoy your week of baseball, everyone.