Vol 1: AL East Weekly Wrap-Up
The Baseball Hot Corner team is beginning a new series where writers will compose a division wrap up. This is the first edition of the weekly wrap-up for the AL East. We will each nominate a position player of the week, pitcher of the week, team-by-team recaps and power rankings. Let’s begin!
The AL East got kicked off with the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees last Monday April 6th at 1:05. The Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays faced off at Tropicana Field at 3:10 on Opening Day. The Boston Red Sox were the odd ones out, not playing a division rival OR an AL team as they played in Philadelphia against the Philadelphia Phillies. The week was exciting and filled with division rivalries and the AL East got off to a fast start.
The Orioles began their season with a series victory at Tampa Bay. Ace Chris Tillman out-dueled Chris Archer on Opening Day by throwing 6.2 strong innings. As the week continued, it is becoming evident that without Nelson Cruz, Matt Wieters, Nick Markakis, and J.J. Hardy, the Orioles still have a powerful offense. The offense looked great into the series against the Toronto Blue Jays but they dropped the series 2 games to 1 due to 2 bad outings from Bud Norris and Chris Tillman‘s 2nd start. The Orioles will live and die by their offense yet again this year. We will see over the next few turns through the rotation whether or not the rotation will fall back down to earth or continue to out perform themselves.
Boston Red Sox
Thew new look Red Sox have won their first two series of the season against the Phillies and the Yankees. Tonight (April 12th), the Red Sox will be going for the series sweep of the Yankees. No surprise, the Red Sox beat the Phillies 2 games to 1. The one game they dropped was a poor first outing for Rick Porcello. He got hit hard early but settled in. The rest of the rotation performed well throughout the first week. Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts are off to good starts offensively. The Red Sox rotation is thought by many to not be as good as it’s been advertised but they sure looked good this week. That is a good sign for success this season.
New York Yankees
There hasn’t been a whole lot to be happy or encouraged about in week 1 for the Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka got hit hard Opening Day, CC Sabathia got hit somewhat hard, and the rotation just wasn’t too impressive outside of Michael Pineda. The offense doesn’t look all that impressive to this point as nobody is even batting over .300 in this early season. The Yankees have been pegged by the majority of people to be near the bottom of the AL East this season. After week 1, that prediction seems quite reasonable. They don’t look that good right now and the rotation was shaky first time through.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are off to a 3-3 start after losing their first series to Baltimore but beat Florida rivals Miami Marlins 2/3 games this past weekend. A big bright spot has been the production of Kevin Kiermaier who is currently hitting .381 with 2 home runs. Asdrubal Cabrera is also off to a good start offensively. Chris Archer had one terrible outing and one great outing in week 1. Jake Odorizzi also looked impressive in his first start of the season and will kick off week 2 in Toronto at the Blue Jays Home Opener. The Rays need to prove they can continue to score runs because they sure have the talented pitching staff to keep them in most games. If they can score runs, they could be surprising.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays got their season started off on the right foot by concluding a 4-2 week with a 10-7 win at Baltimore. Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion are off to good starts but the most encouraging sign of week 1 is the production from the bottom of the order with Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis, and Dalton Pompey all hitting and playing defense. If these 3 continue to play well and when Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin start hitting, the offense may be top 5 in the game. The rotation looked good through week 1 except for Aaron Sanchez and his bad first career start. The bullpen is now in good hands with 20 year old Miguel Castro closing and Roberto Osuna looking fantastic. The Blue Jays had a good first week with exciting signs for encouragement with the 6 kids all contributing.
Position Player of the Week: Adam Jones– .381 BA, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .458 OBP
Pitcher of the Week: Joe Kelly– 7 IP, 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 8 K
- Boston Red Sox- 4-1*
- Toronto Blue Jays- 4-2
- Tampa Bay Rays- 3-3
- Baltimore Orioles- 3-3
- New York Yankees- 1-4*
*Red Sox at Yankees are the Sunday Night Baseball game. Stats and updates are not included from this game.