Here’s an assortment of random thoughts on Major League Baseball so far this season:
- It’s tough to lose both ends of a doubleheader with your co-aces on the mound, but that’s just what the Twins did on Wednesday. Granted, the Boston Red Sox are a very good team. But Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano are as close as the Twins have to veteran presences in their rotation. The Twins are really banking on Glen Perkins to continue his hot start.
- How about Maicer Izturis hitting third in the Los Angeles Angels’ order a couple times during that Twins-Angels series last weekend? I realize Vlad is hurt, but I gotta think Mike Scioscia – who is a great manager – has a better option than his utility infielder with a career .377 slugging percentage for the No. 3 spot in the order.
- And while the Angels offense has been sluggish so far, former Twins outfielder Torii Hunter is off to a scorching start for them. Entering Wednesday night’s game, Hunter was hitting .310 with five homers so far this year.
- The big name through the first week of the season was a tongue-twister: Emilio Bonifacio. The Florida Marlins third baseman had 14 hits through his team’s first five games and stole four bases, including three on Opening Day. But he’s cooled off as of late, going 4-for-33 in his last eight games. The speedy infielder, who came over to Florida from the Washington Nationals in a trade last offseason, is looking a little more like the guy with the career .703 OPS in the minor leagues.
- Last week I blogged about a few of the unlikely teams atop divisions in MLB. Well, not much has changed. Toronto, Florida, Seattle and Kansas City all find themselves with at least a share of the division lead as I write this. The Jays can hit, but I still worry about their starting pitching. And closer B.J. Ryan blew another save Wednesday night. The Marlins were 11-1, but have now lost three in a row. The Royals and Mariners still have a lot of question marks. I’m sticking with Florida and K.C. as my two teams that are most likely – if any – to make the playoffs from this group. I can tell you this: If the Royals get a lead after six innings, watch out. I like the Ron Mahay-Juan Cruz-Joakim Soria bullpen group they got right now.