So, here is a quick list of the Yankees and three other troubled teams who should be much better than they were in April:
1 – Back in Spring Training, the New York Yankees were inundated with good pitching. Well, I don’t think skipper Joe Girardi anticipated that over the first month he would lose his newest star, Michael Pineda for the season; Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia to be completely ineffective; and now banking-on Andy Pettitte’s return to his All-Star self after a year off. Fans can pray that either DJ Mitchell or David Phelps will be the Yankees version of the Knicks Jeremy Lin. Hey you never know until you try.
2 – The Los Angeles Angels are yearning for Albert Pujols to hit his first homer as a Halo; and you can expect the rest of the anemic offense to follow when the best player in baseball finally does. This is not the start anyone was expecting. Take a look at Pujols’ career April/March numbers below:
3 – The Philadelphia Phillies are learning that you can’t live solely off starting pitching, as they are struggling without slugger Ryan Howard. Howard is still rehabbing his torn ACL from last October but once he is healthy that may be all the Phillies need to take back (refer to table below) what is rightfully still theirs for now; the NL East. ESPN reported that Howard was given the green light to move forward with his activity and he is heading to Clearwater, Fla., to try to do just that. That is good news but the Phillies still don’t have a clue how long he will need.
4 – If only the Detroit Tigers lived in a perfect world than Justin Verlander could start every game. Ok, time to wake-up now because that is not ever going to happen but the Tigers playing better very well should. The Tigers have the luxury of playing in the AL Central, and it is their division to lose, but ending April playing .500 baseball (11-11) is certainly not going to cut it. Prince Fielder seems to be adjusting better at the plate, but all Tigers not named Verlander need to step it up. The recent off-the-field antics of Delmon Young in NYC certainly are not what the Tigers need right now, but hitting rock bottom might be and they are certainly getting close, if not already there. Something has to give soon.