If Matt Kemp was the MVP of April, the May award would go to either Giancarlo Stanton, Melky Cabrera, or Carlos Gonzalez. Their bats started to heat up as the degrees raised on the thermometer.
If I had to chose between Stanton, Cabrera, and Gonzalez, I would have to go with Stanton. He hit a grand slam that hit the scoreboard. It made a large portion of the scoreboard go black. If the Miami Marlins want to keep a left-field scoreboard, they may want to move it deeper into the park.
May is a month when teams start getting an idea if their roster needs tweaked. Players start getting called up from the minors and veterans begin to get “designated for assignment.”
Here are some things that we learned in May…
– Jamie Moyer is a bad ass. Yes, a middle school pitcher could beat him on the radar gun, but you have to respect what he has done. The Colorado Rockies released him last week, but he set the age records for wins and oldest person to get an RBI. I hope a team gives him an opportunity to pitch at age 50 next season.
– No one can hit Ernesto Frieri. The Los Angeles Angels reliever did not allow a hit during the entire month of May. He has registered 30 strikeouts in 14 innings and saved his first game. He currently shares the role of closer with Scott Downs. I have a feeling that Frieri will have that job by himself if he keeps this up.
– Aroldis Chapman? (see: Ernesto Frieri)
– Matt Kemp’s hamstring pisses him off. He spent nearly the entire month of May on the disabled list. He came back, but re-injured his hamstring and will be out the entire month of June. Kemp was so mad that he had a mini-tirade in the dugout.
– Bryan LaHair falls back down to Earth. He was the only Chicago Cubs offense in April. He looked to have a stranglehold on the first-base job and block Anthony Rizzo from being called up. He is now stuck in a platoon with Jeff Baker and sits when the Cubs face a left-handed starting pitcher.
– Alfonso Soriano found the Fountain of Youth. He reduced his bat weight by an ounce and a quarter and his power has returned. He hit eight home runs in the last 30 days. The Cubs are hoping that he can keep this up so they can finally trade him.
– Justin Smoak can be called “The Smoak Monster” once again. He started the season off horribly, but he had seven home runs and a .280 average in the month of May. He now has a .241 average, which is much better than hitting around the Mendoza line.
– Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are really, really good. No one thought they would hit this well so early in their careers. Harper is a ball of energy and is a threat with his bat and his cannon of an arm. Trout looks like he could turn into a 30/30 guy. He will definitely have over 30 stolen bases this season, since he has nine in only 127 at-bats.
– Mark Trumbo ate Albert Pujols. Going into the season, analysts had written off Trumbo. They thought that he could end up in a platoon with an outfielder and spell Pujols at first-base. Trumbo currently has a line of 10/27/.331 and Pujols has a line of 8/23/.238. Pujols hit all of those homers in May, so he is headed in the right direction.
– Jared Weaver and Roy Halladay are human. Both pitchers started off the year very hot. Weaver pitched a no-hitter earlier this season and Halladay had a few games in which he has no-hitter stuff. They both landed on the disabled-list at the end of May. Weaver will only miss a couple starts, but Halladay’s season is at risk. He is having a second opinion on his shoulder and could need surgery.
– The Pittsburgh Pirates have a talented pitcher? James McDonald came out of nowhere and has been phenomenal. In May, he had 39 K’s in 35 innings with an ERA of 1.54 and a WHIP under 1.00. His BABIP doesn’t do him any favors by showing that he has had a bit of luck. His K/BB is currently at 63/19, a rate that he needs to keep up if he wants to continue his early success.
– The AL East is too close too call. In the month of May, every team in the division were either 15-13, 15-14, or 14-14. You can’t get any closer than that.
– Will Middlebrooks made Kevin Youkilis expendable. Middlebrooks is a younger version of Youk, but with more power. The Boston Red Sox will get a nice return for the “Greek God of Walks”.
– The Chicago White Sox are showing that they could be a playoff team. They went 18-11 with a +34 run differential in the month of May. Davan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios, Gordon Beckham, and Paul Konerko all lead a stat category for their position in May. The 2012 roster is almost a mirror image of last year’s team. They are responding to a new message and probably grew tired of Ozzie Guillen’s method. Robin Ventura is getting the most out of the team.
– The NL East is as close as the race in the AL East. The Washington Nationals are currently leading, but only 3.5 games separate them from last place. I can see this race still being a three or four team race at the trading deadline.
– The St. Louis Cardinals are confusing. They have a +52 run differential but are only one game over .500. The Cincinnati Reds are looking like the team to beat, but don’t count out the Pirates. This is definitely a three team race.
– The NL West will be won by either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the San Francisco Giants. The Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t getting as many balls fall as they did last year. The pitching staffs for the Dodgers and Giants look dominant. The NL Cy Young winner could be won by a pitcher in this division. Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong, and Madison Bumgarner and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw in the discussion.
The following pictures are a monthly treat for my female readers. I’m not a huge fan of this section of the post, but it has been a hit. Female sports fans have been very kind to this site, so here’s a little eye candy for the ladies…I hope you enjoy shirtless photos of Hunter Pence, C.J. Wilson, Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Lance Berkman. (yeah, sorry about the Berkman photo)
Sorry about that guys! I promised a female reader that I would do this once every month during the baseball season. Shirtless photos are my limit…no one could handle seeing a nude photo of Berkman.
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