Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Week 4 of the HBL

April will draw to a close and we'll have 1/6 of the HBL season in the books after this week. Taking a look back, it was a rough month. Nearly everything that could have gone wrong did, and I'm not just saying that.

Looking back at our goals for our players this year, we had but a few:

1. Get breakout seasons from Rickie Weeks and Alex Gordon
2. Look for BJ Upton to return to form and be that 30/30 guy we need
3. Watch Vlad and Beltran lead our team to glory
4. Allow our pitching to dominate and lead the way with Verlander and Liriano

And what actually happened?

Rickie Weeks has been okay, but the steals are almost non-existant. Alex Gordon was kicked off our team after yet another 3 month injury. BJ Upton has been terrible, batting something like .155 at the plate. Vlad got hurt, Beltran forgot how to steal bases (I think he's been caught every time this year). And our pitching, wow, what a nightmare.

Liriano and Verlander were the opposite of aces. We were getting performances out of them that make me thankful that our ERA is almost under 5 again. Sure, we lead the league in strikeouts, and we're near the top in saves thanks to Heath Bell, but our staff is a mess.

The big quandry heading into week 4 was "Do we start Justin Verlander for his two start week?". We were already sitting Liriano and I told Forbes "it's just too hard on the psyche to be sitting both of those guys." Forbes made the decision for us, Verlander needed to start and do battle with CC Sabathia - and battle he did!

I'm not totally back on board with Mr. Zoolander, but his 9K performance and dominating curveball against the Yankees made me somewhat of a believer. He was running that gas up near 100mph all night last night. Let's see what his second start of the week brings before we proclaim him "back".

In other news, I failed in my quest to land Joe Mauer. Once our catcher, Ryan Doumit hit the DL with a broken right wrist I actually felt less inclined to deal for Joe. The goal was to land Mauer and possibly spin Doumit off to someone else for an upgrade at another position. The price got a bit steep for me when Colby Rasmus + someone was the asking price. So I bailed. Kurt Suzuki is now our temporary fill-in at catcher for the next couple of months and I'm mostly okay with that.

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