A.L. East Week-in-Review: (3/31 - 4/10)


The following is a review of prominent events that have taken place during the past week in the A.L. East, as compiled by Fansided’s writers from each club in the division. This “Week-in-Review” series is one which will run all season long and will be posted each Monday to recap the previous week (Monday through Sunday). To add a little gloating rights to this series, the teams will be posted in an order that replicates the actual standings as of the day of the post, giving a chance for the writers to rub some salt in the wounds of the other team writers. However, the post will be made on each site in a rotational basis, meaning that each team will provide a link to the post, but only 1 site will actually have the compilation posted.

Here is the A.L. East Week-in-Review for the week of: March 31st through April 10th:

1st Place: Baltimore Orioles

Record beginning of week: 0-0  Record end of the week: 6-3

Hottest hitting performance:

  • Brian Roberts, 2 3-run homers and 8 RBIs as the lead-off hitter and the player who has been an Oriole for the longest.

Hottest pitching performance (starter):

  • Zach Britton.  He was originally going to stay in the minors, but called up when Matusz got put on the DL.  He’s won both of the games he has pitched so far and has only given up 1 run on 7 hits total and has struck out 8 total.  His ERA is a lowly 0.66.

Hottest pitching performance (pen):

  • Jason Berken.  In 3 games, he’s pitched 4.1 innings of shut-out ball only giving up 1 hit and striking out 7.

Coldest Hitter:

  • Luke Scott, though he missed a few games due to a tight groin, he’s batting .167 with only 2 hits at 12 at-bats and no RBIs.  That’s still not terrible, but so far he’s having the poorest performance.

Coldest Pitcher (starter):

  • Jake Arrieta.  He had a good first outing and got the win at opening day at Camden Yards, but at his last outing against the Rangers he pitched only 3.1 innings and gave up 8 runs on 6 hits. Ouch.

Coldest Pitcher (pen):

  • Mike Gonzalez.  With a 6.75 ERA he’s pitched 2.2 innings in 3 games and has given up 2 runs on 2 hits.  Jim Johnson could also get this giving up 3 runs on 5 hits in 4.2 innings and 4 games.  Again, these stats aren’t terrible for either man but the hits and runs they gave up in their games came at very inopportune times.

Week’s MVP:

  • Zach Britton. He pitched 2 brilliant games for the O’s so far and got the win in both.  Not only did he accomplish this, he also accomplished this with little warning as he was pulled from the minors a day before his first major league start on the road against a team in the division (Rays).  I see him becoming the O’s ace in the next few years.

Opponents for upcoming week:

  • @ the Yankees for 3 games, Tuesday through Thursday
  • @ Indians for a weekend series Friday through Saturday

Summary:

  • The O’s have shocked everyone being atop the AL East and winning 6 of their first 9 games.  The pitching has been incredible and the offense heated up for a while (it cooled against the Rangers, but what do you expect? They’re the best team in the league).  If the O’s pitching can keep up and the team remains healthy (this is already looking to be a problem), they have a chance to be in it until the end.

Transactions

  • Majors: Chris Jakubauskas was brought up to possibly pitch Wednesday against the Yankees.
  • Minors: Brad Bergesen was optioned to Triple-A-Norfolk to hopefully let him get back on track and regroup.

Injured list

Completed by: Lauren Tilley, follow me at Birdswatcher

t-2nd Place: Toronto Blue Jays

Record beginning of week: 0-0       Record end of the week: 5-4

Hottest hitting performance:

  • Yunel Escobar.  The Jays shortstop hit a blistering .476 during the first week of the season.  In the first five games, Escobar had two triples, one home run, four RBI and one stolen base.  His 1.366 OPS was second only to J.P. Arencibia for the week.  He also had three multi-hit games, including three hits each in the Jays two wins over the A’s.  Unfortunately, Escobar had to leave Wednesday’s game against the A’s after taking a knee to the head while sliding into third base for a triple.  He missed the first game of the Angels series over the weekend but appeared in Saturday’s game as a pinch-hitter.  He returned to the lineup for Sunday’s game, going 1-for-2 with two walks.  Other hot hitting Jays were J.P. Arencibia, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind.   Arencibia got off to a hot start with a .368 BA, two home runs and five RBI.  Bautista hit .421 with two home runs. He missed the A’s series because of the birth of his first child, a daughter.  Bautista also led the Jays by drawing seven walks.  Lind hit .343 with one homer and eight RBI.  He also had a hit in eight-game hitting streak to start the season but it was snapped in the Sunday’s loss to the Angels.  Lind’s overall hitting streak was at 14 including the end of the 2010 season.

Hottest pitching performance (starter):

  • Ricky Romero and Kyle Drabek tied for the Jays best starter in the first week of the season.  Romero went 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA.  Even more impressive was the fact that Romero had a WHIP of 0.951 in his 13.2 innings pitched.  The Jays Opening Day starter struck out 12 and walked only two for the week.  Drabek was just as good going 1-0 in two starts with a 1.38 ERA.  He threw one-hit ball over seven innings in a 6-1 win over the Twins on April 2.  Neither pitcher allowed a home run in the their first two starts.

Hottest pitching performance (pen):

  • Carlos Villanueva was the best reliever for the Jays last week.  He appeared in three games, pitching 5.2 hitless innings.  Villanueva struck out seven and walked three, while compiling a WHIP of 0.529.  Other notable performances out the bullpen were Marc Rzepczynski and Shawn Camp.  Rzepczynski and Camp also both pitched 5.2 scoreless innings in relief.  Rzepczynski allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out four.  The lefty had an incredible WHIP of 0.353 in his four stints out of the bullpen.  Camp surrendered four hits in his team-high six appearances while striking out two and walking one.

Coldest Hitter:

  • Juan Rivera got off to a slow start with his new team, batting .133 with no homers, RBI or extra-base hits.  His 31 plate appearances were third behind Adam Lind and Aaron Hill.  He was the Jays designated hitter in five games and went 4-for-20 in those games.  While playing in the OF, Rivera was hitless in 10 AB.

Coldest Pitcher (starter):

  • Brett Cecil (0-1, 7.20 ERA) got off to a slow start for the Jays.  In two starts, Cecil pitched 10 innings, giving up 16 hits and three walks for a WHIP of 1.90.  Cecil went five innings and had only three strikeouts in each start.  The left-hander also gave up a home run in both outings.

Coldest Pitcher (pen):

  • It’s tough to pick a cold pitcher out of the Jays bullpen for the first week since the relievers only gave up four runs in 31 1/3 innings.  However, if we have to pick someone it would probably have to be Jon Rauch.  Rauch gave up five hits in 4.1 IP in his five appearances for the week.  He was the losing pitcher in Saturday’s 14-inning loss to the Angels.  Rauch did go 2-for-2 in save opportunities for the week; however, he had a 4.15 ERA to go along with his 1.385 WHIP.  Opponents also hit .294 off him during the week.

Week’s MVP:

  • Yunel Escobar.  The Blue Jays were 4-1 with him as the starting shortstop before his injury in the middle of the week.  He returned to the lineup in Sunday’s loss but reached base three times in his four plate appearances.

Opponents for upcoming week:

  • @ Seattle, 4/11-4/13
  • @ Boston, 4/15-4/18

Summary:

  • The Jays got off to a good start to the season with a 4-1 record but finished 5-4 after dropping two of three to the Angels over the weekend.  Romero and Drabek each looked good performances in their first two starts.  The rest of the starting pitching was not spectacular.  Aside from Jason Frasor and Jon Rauch, no reliever gave up a run during the week.  For the week, the relievers gave up 19 hits in 31 1/3 innings and struck out 32 opponents.  The Jays offense hit .267 for the week but were without Jose Bautista for three games and Yunel Escobar for two.  The Blue Jays scored three or fewer runs in four of their first nine games.

Transactions

Injured list

Notes from the Minors

  • Hitters: 1B Michael McDade (.500, AA) and David Cooper ( .471, AAA) are hitting machines thus far in the season.
  • Pitchers: Both Asher Wojciechowski and Deck McGuire had stellar debuts in the minors (HiA) for the Jays as neither allowed a run and Asher only allowed 2 hits (no walks) in 5 innings of work. Impressive performances by both of them, and promising for the Jays.

Completed by: Carlo Della Mea, follow JJ staff on Twitter @JaysJournal, online at Jays Journal, or on our Jays Journal Facebook page.

t-2nd Place: New York Yankees

Record beginning of week: 0-0   Record end of the week: 5-4

Hottest hitting performance:

  • Russell Martin. The new guy is off to a torrid start in pinstripes. He’s had a hit in every game but three this season and has cracked three home runs so far, including two in Saturday’s win over the Red Sox. As if the two dingers against the Sox weren’t enough to make Yankee fans warm up to him, he also stole third base on Opening Day and played every inning so far.

Hottest pitching performance (starter):

  • CC Sabathia. Through his first two starts of the season, CC threw 13 innings and gave up eight hits, two runs, 13 strikeouts and three walks with a 0.85 WHIP and a 1.38 ERA. Against the hated Red Sox on Sunday night he didn’t have his best stuff but battled and made due. He gave up nine hits but only one run with four walks and as many strikeouts. His performance against the Twins (Tuesday) is proof that pitcher wins is a stupid stat; he gave up two hits over seven innings and retired 17 Twins in a row…but didn’t get the win because the bullpen (cough cough Rafael Soriano cough cough) blew a four-run lead.

Hottest pitching performance (pen):

  • Mariano Rivera. Mo has been His usual dominant self in 2011, despite being 41 years old. The Great Mariano has thrown 4 1/3 innings and yielded just two hits with four strikeouts and no walks in five appearances while registering four saves.

Coldest Hitter:

  • Mark Teixeira. Sure he homered in the first three games and four of the first five, but since his last homer Marky Mark is 0 for his last 18. Four of his six hits this season have been home runs. Honorable mention: Jorge Posada. Georgie is now 0 for his last 17 with eight strikeouts since his home run on April 4.

Coldest Pitcher (starter):

  • Phil Hughes. The young lad has been terrible in two starts this season while losing a lot of velocity on his fastball. On Saturday against Boston, Phil failed to keep his fastball over 90 and reached 92 just once. Joe Girardi has said there are no plans to skip his next start in the rotation, and Larry Rothschild said Hughes just needs to build up arm strength.

Coldest Pitcher (pen):

  • Boone Logan. The lefty specialist has been anything but a lefty specialist this season. Boom Boom Boone had thrown 1 1/3 innings in three appearances prior to Sunday and got touched for five hits and two runs with two walks and a strikeout. He had a WHIP of 5.25 and an ERA of 13.50 before Sunday, I know it’s a small sample and numbers get inflated for relievers but come on. He did atone a little bit with a good performance in Boston on Sunday, retiring Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez in the seventh inning.

Week’s MVP:

  • Russell Martin. He’s stepped in and filled Posada’s shoes as well as anybody could have hoped. I was a little salty when they gave him Matsui’s number but if he keeps this production up he can have Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio or Mantle’s number if he wants.

Opponents for upcoming week:

  • vs Orioles at home Tues, Wed, Thurs (all at 7:05)
  • vs Rangers at home in rematch of ALCS Fri (7:05), Sat (1:05), Sun (8:05)

Summary:

  • CC threw a decent, but not great, game on Opening Day while Joba got the win. Curtis Granderson was the story of the game as he made two great catches and homered. AJ won in the second game of the season, a 10-6 slugfest before the Tigers salvaged the series with a 10-7 win in the finale (the only game I didn’t go to up to that point, for whatever that’s worth). Nova took a 4-3 victory in the opener of a four-game set against the Twins before Soriano choked like no other in a 5-4 10-inning loss in the second game of the series. The third game (which I had tickets to) was postponed due to rain and the Yanks took the rubber match on Thursday behind a five-hit, two-run, six-inning performance from AJ, who moved to 7-0 in 12 April starts as a Yankee. The Yanks gave Boston its first win of the season on Friday afternoon as Phil Hughes couldn’t find his fastball, but Bartolo Colon stepped in and threw 4 1/3 innings of terrific relief although he did take the loss (more proof pitcher wins/losses are dumb). The Yanks got to Clay Buchholz early and often on Saturday — as Russel Martin cemented his status as Russel f’ing Martin in Boston — to even the series at 1-1. The rubber match finally gave us a pitchers duel, as Beckett was masterful against the Yanks in a 4-0 win. He gave up just two hits in an eight-inning, 10-strikeout, one-walk performance. Consider my hat tipped, Josh.

Transactions

  • Majors: The Yanks released RHP Romulo Sanchez.
  • Minors: The Yanks signed former Phillie, Mariner, Twin and Cub RHP Carlos Silva to a minor-league deal.

Injured list

Notes from the Minors

  • Hitters: LF Cody Johnson (AA) hit .417/.500/.583 this week, while RF Jordan Parraz (AAA) led the way in Scranton with a .462/.500/1.077 line which included 2 HRS and a triple.
  • Pitchers: Steve Garrison threw 4 shutout innings in AA, while RP Andrew Sisco (AAA) was lights out in AAA over 3 innings in 2 outings. Sisco didn’t allow a hit and only walked 1 over those 3 innings while striking out 4.

Completed by: Andrew Corselli, follow me on Twitter @23yanksgoyard and online at YanksGoYard

4th Place: Boston Red Sox

Record beginning of week: 0-0       Record end of the week: 2-7

Hottest hitting performance:

  • Dustin Pedroia. He tore apart Yankees pitching this past weekend, going 9 for 13 with 4 runs scored in 3 games. He had 4 extra base hits, including his 1st home run of the season and drove in 5 of the 17 runs the Red Sox scored in the series.

Hottest pitching performance (starter):

  • Josh Beckett. In what has been an awful start for Red Sox pitching, Beckett threw a gem on Sunday night. He went 8 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits, and striking out 10 batters en route to a 4-0 victory over the Yankees. It was the 1st bright spot of the season for the Red Sox starting core.

Hottest pitching performance (pen):

  • Bobby Jenks. In 2 appearances this week, Jenks collected 4 K’s in 2 innings pitched. Overall the Red Sox bullpen has been poor, so 2 scoreless innings puts Jenks at the top of the list. The only other pitcher to go scoreless so far this season is Matt Albers, but he was place on the 15-day DL this week.

Coldest Hitter:

  • Carl Crawford. In his 1st season with the Red Sox, Crawford has struggled to get on base, hitting .132 overall, with 5 hits in 38 at-bats. He has struck out 7 times and has looked uncomfortable at the plate. He has also been tossed around the lineup, hitting in the leadoff, 2nd, 3rd, and 7th position in the batting order, making it difficult for him to settle-in with his new club.

Coldest Pitcher (starter):

  • John Lackey. Maybe foolishly, I had a feeling that this season was going to be a strong one for Lackey. He will give up runs, but with the Red Sox offense, will have opportunities to win games, even when he isn’t pitching at the highest level. He did pick up a win this week, but has now allowed 15 earned runs on 17 hits in 8.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 3 home runs and 4 BB’s, while collecting only 5 K’s.

Coldest Pitcher (pen):

  • Dennys Reyes. You know you are struggling when a week into the season you get waived. That’s exactly what happened to Reyes. He was absolutely awful to being the season, walking 2 batters and hitting 2 batters in 1.2 innings. He allowed 3 earned runs on 2 hits and struck out just 1 in his 4 appearances with the Red Sox.

Week’s MVP:

  • Dustin Pedroia, When the team needed him the most, he stepped-up. The pint-sized second baseman put the team on his shoulders this past weekend after a 0-6 start. He sparked the offense in the home-opener on Friday, getting the Red Sox on the board early with a home run and continued to dominate the hit column all weekend, as the Red Sox won their 1st series of the season.

Opponents for upcoming week:

  • vs Rays @ home, 4/11-4/13
  • vs Blue Jays @ home, 4/15-4/18

Summary:

  • It has been a rough start to the season for the Red Sox. They were swept by the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians on the road, but appear to be turning around their fortunes with a series victory against the Yankees this weekend. The pressures and expectations were/are clearly weighing on the team, so a few good offensive days and a strong pitching performance or two could easily loosen the team up. They have 7 straight games against divisional opponents, so a strong surge could put them right back into the divisional hunt. Look for improved pitching performances and a more consistent offense in the week ahead.

Transactions

Injured list

Notes from the Minors

  • Hitters: Will Middlebrooks has been outstanding in AA, hitting .500/.533/1.000, with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR and 1 SB. Lars Anderson (AAA) also hit the ball very well this week, managing a .385/.500/.538 line with 2 doubles, and 3BB/3SO.
  • Pitchers: Stephen Fife (AA) may not have struck out many (1) in his start this week, but he only allowed 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 ER over 5 innings, so who really cares?

Completed by: Brian Phair, follow me on Twitter @bosoxinjection and online at BoSoxInjection

5th Place: Tampa Bay Rays

Record beginning of week: 0-0  Record end of the week: 1-8

Hottest hitting performance:

  • Sam Fuld, with five stolen bases, tries to energize a lethargic Rays offense while making some Gem of the Week defensive plays.

Hottest pitching performance (starter):

  • Jeremy Hellickson. While he didn’t get the win, he fanned 10 in 5.2 innings. A little run support could go a long way right now.

Hottest pitching performance (pen):

  • Kyle Farnsworth. While he hasn’t had many opportunities, he’s pitched in two games while allowing no hits and recording one strike out and one save.

Coldest Hitter:

  • Manny Ramirez. Yes, this is likely the only entry we’ll see about the Manny “No Mas” Ramirez. The good news? If you placed a prop bet for under 25 home runs this season you made money.

Coldest Pitcher (starter):

  • Jeff Niemann. Chased out after less than three innings after giving up five runs to the potent White Sox offense. His ERA ballooned to 8.31 to start the season.

Coldest Pitcher (pen):

  • Juan Cruz appeared in two games against the White Sox, allowing three runs to score and finished with a 10.12 ERA for the week. Not exactly what the Rays were looking for when they signed him. Cruz allowed three free passes in 1.2 innings.

Week’s MVP:

  • Sam Fuld. Besides a couple great defensive plays Fuld has five stolen bases and has yet to be caught.

Opponents for upcoming week:

  • @Boston for 3 games.
  • @ home versus the Minnesota Twins for 4 games.

Summary:

  • The Rays are in dis-a-Ray to start the season. Joe Maddon needs to get them back to work, but the defense is a shambles and hitting is still a miserable .163; the only team in the majors still under .200 for the season. The loss of Manny had to hit hard considering the way he was billed as an offensive contributor. Starting pitching hasn’t been much help either with Wade Davis the only starter with an ERA under 4.00. Boston, who along with the Rays started out the season 0-6 looks to have gotten over the hump, must be licking their collective chops as the Rays head to Fenway to start the week.

Transactions

Injured list

Notes from the Minors

  • Hitters: Desmond Jennings is trying to do everything he can to get the call to the majors, but until he gets Joe Maddon’s support, it’s all for naught. He hit .353/.476/.529 this week with 1 HR, 3 BB/3 SO, and 2 SBs. He should be up in the majors in no time.
  • Pitchers: Matthew Moore (AA) has to be the highlight of the minors for the Rays as he only allowed 2 hits (and hit 2 batters) in 5 innings while allowing only 1 run and striking out 7 (no walks). Alex Cobb (AAA) also had a good start to 2011, allowing only 1 ER in 5 IP while striking out 7 and walking 2.

Completed by: Ben Ice, email me at [email protected], follow me on Twitter @Ben_Ice or at RaysColoredGlasses

For the inaugural week, this post was compiled, formatted, and edited by Mat Germain.

Follow Mat Germain on Twitter @JaysJournal or “Like” the Jays Journal Facebook page

Next Blue Jays Game View full schedule »
Wednesday, Sep 33 Sep7:10at Tampa Bay RaysBuy Tickets

Tags: Asher Wojciechowski Corey Patterson David Cooper Deck McGuire Dustin McGowan Jason Frasor Jon Rauch Octavio Dotel Rajai Davis Yunel Escobar