Continuing on look at hot starts from around the league, we move on from the AL East to the National League Central where we see a bunch of exciting starts from teams and players as well as some very slow starts from key stars.
Dexter Fowler, OF – Fowler has done a great job helping the a struggling offense with his team leading .378 average, 10 runs scored, 3 homers (tied with Rizzo), 9 walks (tied with Rizzo), and a 1.211 OPS
Cubs Starting Pitchers – The offense is sputtering, but the pitching is thriving right now. All 5 starters have allowed a total of 21 runs 13 starts (combined 2.18 ERA), Jason Hammel and Jake Arrieta have batting averages against of .195 and Jon Lester has hitters baffled with a .183 avg against. Oh, and WHIP…a combined 0.969, which is led by Arrieta at 0.77 and Lester at 0.84.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B – Although Rizzo has 3 homers, he’s hitting just .174 with 10 K’s. He’ll get going there’s no doubt; however this isn’t the start anyone had in mind for Rizzo
Jay Bruce, OF – Bruce makes my list because the power is there with 3 homers, but more because he’s hitting .300, which is way above his career .248
Brandon Finnegan, SP – The youngster is doing very well moving in to a starting role (after being traded to Cinci last year), and is off to a good start with a 1-0 record, 2.04 ERA in 3 starts with 16 K’s. He’s limited the hits to 8 in 17.2 at bats, however he’s walked 10. Regardless, the average against is .129 and WHIP is still very good at 1.02
Devin Mesoraco, C – A lot of people were expecting a big bounce back from Mesoraco and it may still come, however he is off to a slow start with a .143 batting average in 10 games
Alfredo Simon, SP – The Big Pasta is struggling in Cinci with an 0-1 record with a 12.15 ERA, with 9 k’s, a .364 average against, and 2.55 WHIP
Ryan Braun, OF – No one is truly lighting it up for Milwaukee, however Braun has been the team’s best hitter so far with a .289 average and tied for the team lead with 3 homers, and leading with 10 RBI
Jimmy Nelson, SP – Chase Anderson looks like the better start from an ERA standpoint, however looking deeper, the numbers show different. Nelson is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA with 13 K’s, .176 avg against, and 1.09 WHIP. If he can improve on the homers (4 homers of 12 hits allowed) and control (9 walks), he could be dominating
Aaron Hill, 3B – Most no Hill as a streaky hitter and he’s off to a streaky slow start with a .154 avg, 7 K’s, and .368 OPS
Taylor Jungmann, SP – Jungmann has made 3 start so far, but pitched just 13 innings, as he’s allowed 13 earned runs (9.00 ERA) on 17 hits (.333 avg against) and with a 1.62 WHIP
John Jaso, 1B – Jaso is off to fast start in the lead-off spot, hitting .354 with 4 doubles and a triple to go with a .897 OPS
Francisco Liriano, SP – Liriano has 2 starts under his belt, where he is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA, 13 K’s, 2.16 avg against, and 1.55 WHIP
Andrew McCutchen, OF – McCutchen is off to a slow start once again for his standards, as Cutch is hitting .250 with 2 homers, 10 K’s and .803 OPS. No doubt he’ll turn it around like last year, it’s just a matter of time
St. Louis Cardinals
Jeremy Hazelbaker (OF) & Aledmys Diaz (SS) – Unknown rookies are helping carry this team during their injury riddled time with Diaz hitting .400 in his first 11 games with 6 doubles, 1 triple, and 2 homers (1.232 OPS), while Hazelbaker is hitting .351 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 3 homers to go with his 1.111 OPS
Jamie Garcia, SP – Nice to see Garcia having a good start after battling injuries for so long. Garcia is 1-0 in 2 starts with a 2.40 ERA, collecting 19 K’s, and allowing batters to hit just .118 off of him, helping with a 0.67 WHIP
Randal Grichuk, OF – Grichuk started to turn it on towards the end of the week, however he is still hitting just .194 with 2 doubles, and 2 homers, with 12 K’s in 36 at bats
Adam Wainwright, SP – Wainwright has given up 15 earned in 3 starts (8.27 ERA) so far with a .338 avg against, and 1.90 WHIP. Yikes!!
*Entry was written before games were played on 4/19
Next: AL Central