We are nearing the “Mid-Summer Classic,” also known as the all-star game, and there have been plenty of disappointments so far this year.
From the major-markets struggling, to teams that believed this could be “the year,” it is going to take an exceptional second-half surge for these teams to make a run at the postseason.
Yes, that can always happen, but for these following teams, it’s doubtful.
Los Angeles Angels
Albert Pujols. Josh Hamilton. Mike ‘Freaking’ Trout.
Where have those three players gotten the Angels so far? Not very far from the gutter.
It would appear there is an epidemic in Los Angeles (more on that in a later slide), as the baseball Gods have not been kind of the “City of Angels.”
Pujols looks like a mid-40s slugger, while Hamilton seems to have left his power and bat skills in Texas. Trout has been coming on as of late, but the youngster can’t do it all – not with millions of millions of dollars sitting in the pockets of Pujols and Hamilton.
Now, Pujols is sidelined with a foot injury and his status for the remainder of the year is in question.
Couple in a weak pitching staff to date, as Jered Weaver is currently sidelined, and it is no wonder the Angels are looking up at the AL West – outside of the Houston Astros, of course.
San Francisco Giants
While the L.A. Dodgers stumbled early, it is the defending World Series champions that appear to be on the outside of the playoff hunt looking in.
Tim Lincecum has struggled. Barry Zito has struggled. The offense has struggled.
Sure, Lincecum threw his first career no-hitter, but at what cost? He tossed almost 150 pitches and didn’t look good in his first start back from that game.
Buster Posey is having a solid season, but the Giants need more of Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval and the rest of the crew if they want to get back in the NL West hunt.
Toronto Blue Jays
The major moves made by the Blue Jays this offseason have not paid off.
Give Jose Reyes a pass for now, as the shortstop is sidelined after an injury occurred following a slide.
But, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle, you have no excuse other than a lack of effectiveness.
Where’s the Dickey that captured the hearts of New York last year? How about the Buehrle that once helped lead the Chicago White Sox to the World Series? These two have ERAs hovering around the five mark – not a way to win, especially in the tough AL East.
With names like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Melky Cabrera still in the lineup each day despite the loss of Reyes, there is no reason these Jays should be sitting at the bottom of the standings.
What has happened to “Brew City?”
Ryan Braun is done, and you honestly have no idea what this will do to him in the future.
Braun admitted doping and was recently suspended for the remainder of the season, but even between stints on the DL, he wasn’t producing at his typical all-star clip.
Yovani Gallardo has lost his zip and his ability to pitch deep into game. Youngsters Marco Estrada and Wily Peralta do not appear ready for major league hitters yet. And Kyle Lohse has been strong, but can you count on him to hold up all year?
The NL Central is talented at the top with St. Louis and Cincinnati leading the way, so maybe the Brewers need to close up shop, trade off their big-names for prospects, and build for the future.
Oh, wait, didn’t they do that when letting Prince Fielder go? D’oh!