Sweep Orioles? Yay!
Get swept by Rays? Awww.
In fairness, the Jays have won one series in Tampa in . . . ever? . . . s losing at least two of these, particularly when Archer was in the mix, isn't crazy - but letting the Saturday night game slip away was a huge downer. That said, I still contend it's very foolish to get all bent out of shape about the bullpen. Stuff happens. To everyone. I remain calm, it's just too early. So - system review time!
Pitching wise, you have to be encouraged by Hutch and Norris but there's a ton of inconsistency in he staff as a whole. As much as I'd love to think that those two, at least, have found their happy place, I'd just as much like to hope Castro's last couple are only a blip but I have no objective argument to prove it's not the reverse.
Offensively you still have to be pretty happy about where they are with only half (less than, really, since he's benched the busier half of his personal platoon) of Reyes, and only one of the expected key bats raking (along with one gigantic surprise - Travis - and one mild one - Smoak).
The Bisons remain En Fuego - before Sunday's loss they were on an 11-1 run. The offense has caught up, nearly, with the pitching, with a team OPS good at .721 for 3rd in the league (.729 leads) though with such a veteran roster that should be expected. Chris Colabello has taken over the team lead in OPS with his league leading 5 home runs but Matt Hague remains right there with him. Nothing to say about the pitchers except more of the same excellence.
You may remember my praise of the bullpen last week, Matt West and Luis Perez still haven't surrendered a run and the next three best relievers have given up four, collectively, in 25.1 IP - the line for all five reads: 42.2 - 31 - 4 - 18 - 54. Matt Boyd finally saw his ERA budge off zero but it was my no means an ugly affair. On the offensive side, apart from noting that DSJ continues to perform well, i have to mention KC Hobson. He's blocked about 4 different ways at AAA, and he's been around this circuit too long (having been promoted mid-2013) but he's having his best season yet in the early going. It's unwise to assume so much from such a sample but even if he kept this up there'd still be a lot of questions.
At the start of play on April 18, Roemon Fields sported a BA of only .167 and an OPS of .461 - since then he's gone 15 for 31 and has a 1.110 OPS. Better keep your eye on him. Christian Lopes is also 7 for his last 17. Dawel Logo is 6 for 19, and Matt Dean is also clawing back from an awful start. On the pitching side, reliever Jimmy Cordero is hitting as high as 102 on the guns and so far fooling everyone. Prospect Alberto Tirado is doing solid work, while Jario Labourt seems to be getting in touch with his inner Aaron Sanchez, mixing dominating stuff with a shaky feel for the strike zone.
Where to start with this bunch? After 5 games Anthony "The Legend of" Alford is OPSing .917 and seemingly leading the team in stories told about. Dicke Thon (again, too old for the Midwest) is demanding promotion (.945). DJ Davis is bidding to be taken seriously again (OPS of .842). First Baseman/DH Ryan McBroom (whom broadcaster Jessie Goldberg-Strassler reports is very much on the radar of organizational power brokers as a guy with legit major league potential at the plate) is trying to elbow his way out of Rowdy Tellez's considerable shadow. Oh, and Danny Jansen seems to have shaken off his 0 for 14 start. On the mound, ultra-soft tosser Shane Dawson is fooling everyone, but it's uncertain how that will play as he moves up. College draftee Justin Schafer has looked good and Chase DeJong has done nothing to dim his luster.
It's not impossible that I find motivation to post more than once a week. Sometime. It could happen.