MLB APRIL SURPRISES
Adam Dunn’s slugging percentage: .342. Oddly, Dunn’s OBP of .381 is higher than his measly slugging number. Dunn is hitting just .192, but his 23 walks are second to only Albert Pujols. His lack of production is a huge reason the Reds are ranked 23rd in runs scored, and why they are near the cellar of the NL Central.
Derek Jeter’s extra base hits: 4. Jeter is off to a lousy start hitting .282/.305/.359. He has 2 doubles, 2 triples and no homers. This is interesting because from 2005-2007, Jeter’s April stats have been great: .362/.458/.517
Carlos Zambrano’s walks: 9. Big Z has allowed only 9 walks in 6 starts, a total that usually would come from two of his outings. This is remarkable for a pitcher that walked over 300 batters during the last 3 seasons. If he keeps this up, Zambrano may finally be considered among the elite starting pitchers in the league, and not a volatile Bartolo Colon facsimile.
Cliff Lee’s everything. Wasn’t this the guy that was going to be the odd man out of the rotation? Lee’s April has been insane. He’s 4-0 with an 0.28 ERA. He has 29 Ks to just 2 BBs and he has allowed only 11 hits in 31.2 innings. If the Tribe makes the playoffs, they’ll look back to Lee’s April as one of the main reasons–no matter how he does from here on out.
San Diego’s OPS: .626. It’s hard to criticize the tenure of Kevin Towers. Until now. It was painfully obvious that the Pads needed at least one more solid bat after last season. Towers chose to add Jim Edmonds and Tad Iguchi to bolster the lineup. Perhaps he did not have license to spend major dollars on a free agent. But he certainly could have done better than he did in the offseason. In turn the Padres are wasting the one of the best pitching staffs in MLB.
Chase Utley’s homeruns: 10. Could the Phillies have three different MVPs in three consecutive seasons? Maybe. Utley had a dominant April, adding 9 doubles to his 10 homers. He’s hitting .374/.448/.788.