Posted 04/14/2009 at 01:44 PM
Two starts does not make a season but what a rough start for Chien-Ming Wang. Nick Swisher was able to pitch a scoreless inning last night for the Yankees but Wang managed to allow eight runs while only getting three outs. Wang has been one of the better pitchers in baseball the last five years so it has been surprising but keep in mind that a lot of pitchers that had very good seasons last year had horrendous starts, C.C. Sabathia and Roy Oswalt quickly come to mind.
Other big surprises has been the offensive production from the other teams in the AL East. The Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox are considered to be the best three teams in baseball by many but the Orioles and Blue Jays lead the standings and have been scoring machines. Toronto has benefited from facing shaky pitching teams Cleveland and Detroit but the Orioles have had a strong start while facing New York and Tampa Bay. Neither should be realistically expected to stay in contention and the back of the rotations will tell you why but there could be some breakout stars on both teams, notably Jeremy Guthrie, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Travis Snider, and Adam Lind, who are all off to great starts.
On the other side of things, AL Central favorites Cleveland and Minnesota have had miserable starts and there is legitimate reason to be really concerned. The Twins offense is sorely missing Joe Mauer and the young pitching staff has been very shaky. Francisco Liriano has also been an early season disappointment. Cleveland will need Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona to find their form after poor outings and the Indians have been a complete wreck so far this year. The door is wide open for Detroit and Kansas City to make a rise to the top although the White Sox could have the best pitching in the division which should give them a chance to repeat.