April stats edition. April showers bring July doubleheaders, and April stats bring May congrats. Or June HazMats. This month’s rankings, with emphasis on the stats. Numbers through Monday’s games
1. Atlanta: Justin Upton hitting .330 with seven homers, 16 RBIs and 32 strikeouts. That pales to last year’s April when he hit 12 homers, then just 12 more in the next four months combined.
2. Milwaukee: Francisco Rodriguez had 62 saves in 2008, 93 in the five seasons that followed. He already has 12 in 2014, plus 21 strikeouts, an 0.00 ERA and six hits allowed in 15 innings. Yes, this is the same Francisco Rodriguez who blew 15 saves in three seasons with the Mets.
3. Oakland: Infielder Jed Lowrie, who has a career-high of 50 walks (603 at-bats in 2013), has 20 in 93 at-bats. Plus three hit by pitches courtesy of the Astros. Thanks for raising the on-base percetage to .430 Bo Porter.
4. San Francisco.: Pitcher Madison Bumgarner batting .375 (3-for-8) with 5 RBIs. That’s three more than 2012 World Series hero Gregor Blanco, who’s got two to show for a .125 average (4-for-32). Who would you prefer to pinch hit?
5. St. Louis.: Cardinals have just 16 home runs (27th in MLB, ahead of only Texas, Kansas City and San Diego). Only 10 have been hit by players not suspended last year for PED use. Jhonny Peralta has six homers, five doubles, six singles and a .193 average.
6. N.Y. Yankees: Yangervis Solarte, who has a career .733 OPS in the minors, has a .301 averag, .852 OPS and team highs in RBIs (13) and walks (11). Who needs A-Rod? If Solarte is still leading the Yankees in RBIs and walks in August, the Yankees will.
7. Detroit.: Miguel Cabrera, whose lowest regular-season average is .292, is batting .259 after 85 at-bats. Pitchers are advised to get him out now while they still can.
8. Texas: Prince Fielder has seven extra-base hits, eight RBIs and a .200 average in 95 at-bats. He’ll fatten up those numbers shortly (if only hitting was as easy as punning.)
9. Washington: Ian Desmond has almost as many errors (eight) as double plays turned (12). His fielding percentage is .909, his range factor is 3.10 and he’s hitting .243, although it would probably be more if opposing shortstops fielded as he did. Oh, and he’s fanned 33 times and walked just five.
10. L.A. Dodgers: Do the Dodgers miss injured catcher A.J. Ellis? Replacement Tim Federorwicz is batting .109, or 25 points less than Hyun-Jin Ryu, 58 points less than Dan Haren, 91 points less than Zack Greinke and 224 points less than Clayton Kershaw, who’s 1-for-3. Maybe Federowicz can use visits to the mound to get some batting tips.
11. Colorado: Jordan Lyles is going to give Coors Field a bad name. Lyles has a career 5.17 ERA, but it’s 0.66 in his new home this year after a trade from the Astros. He still has trouble away from Coors — he’s 4.76 on the road for a 2.93 total.
12. L.A. Angels: Raul Ibanez, who hit 29 homers in his age 41 season, won’t hit that many this year. He’s hitting .171 with 22 strikeouts in 76 at-bats.
13. Cincinnati: Zack Cozart has 1.000 fielding percentage, handling 96 chances without an error. His batting average is about 852 points less. Cozart is hitting .148 with three walks and little power in 81 at-bats.
14. Boston: Too late to grow a beard. Hair-free Daniel Nava sent to minors after a .149 start.
15. Baltimore: Ubaldo Jimenez has 6.59 ERA and 17 walks, five homers and 33 hits in 27.1 innings. At least he’ll only be playing every fifth day for the next four years and $50 million.
16. Philadelphia: Utility infielder Freddy Galvis is 1-for-30 (.033), which begs a question: why does he have two walks (Marlins Kevin Slowey and A.J. Ramos are the offending parties; Colorado’s Matt Belisle gave up the hit). Galvis is hitless and walkless in his last 22 at-bats.
17. Kansas City: Mike Moustakas leads Royals in homers with four. Unfortunately, he only has four doubles and five singles and is hitting .159. Royals fans will need patience. Last year Moustakas hit .195 in April and .171 in May.
18. Tampa Bay.: Maybe Orioles doctors knew what they were doing when they failed Grant Balfour on his physical. Rays closer’s control is failing: he’s walked nine in 10.1 innings, thrown two home runs and has a 6.10 ERA.
19. N.Y. Mets: Curtis Granderson hitting .129 and slugging just .212 in 85 at-bats. Just three years and five more months on that $60 million contract.
20. Minnesota: Chris Colabello turned down a guaranteed million dollars in South Korea to try and make the Twins. He has team-leading 27 RBIs. He might have more in Korea, although there’s probably teams there he couldn’t hit cleanup for.
21. Chicago White Sox: Jose Abreu’s 31 RBIs break Albert Pujols for a rookie first-month record, but the comparisons end there. Pujols was 21, Abreu is 27, Pujols batted .370 his first month Abreu .271, Pujols fanned once every six plate appearances, Abreu once every 4.5.
22. Toronto: Edwin Encarnacion homered 36 times last year (42 in 2012) and was third in MLB with one every 14.7 at-bats (only Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera were better). He has one in 95 at-bats this year, which ranks him 94th of the 99 players who have homered (only Adam Jones, Abraham Almonte, Elvis Andrus, Alex Rios and Jose Altuve have more at-bats with a single home run).
23. Cleveland: Carlos Santana has 12 games at third, five at catcher and eight at designated hitter. He hasn’t hit at any. Santana is batting .140 through 86 at-bats and his home run Monday was just his second of the season.
24. Pittsburgh: Edinson Volquez, who has averaged better than a walk every two innings, has walked just six in 33.2 innings this year, or one every 5.2 innings. A similar Pirates’ intervention saved Francisco Liriano’s career last year.
25. San Diego: Padres Jedd Gyorko, second among position players in last year’s NL Rookie of the Year voting, isn’t winning anyone over with his .144 start to 2014, complete with three extra-base hits in 90 at-bats.
26. Seattle: Abraham Almonte makes fans nostalgic for Endy Chavez. Almonte has .250 on-base percentage, .556 OPS, five walks and 36 strikeouts in 98 at-bats.
27. Miami.: Marlins have hit 21 home runs, but five players have all of them: Mike Stanton (seven), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (four), Garrett Jones (four), Derek Dietrich (three) and Marcell Ozuna (three). Three Marlins have at least 90 at-bats without a homer, including Casey McGehee, who had 23 for the Brewers in 2010 and 61 for his career (Christian Yellich and Adeiny Hechavarria are the others).
28. Arizona: Wade Miley is the only Diamondback pitcher with multiple wins, and he has two despite a 5.36 ERA, which might seem high but isn’t on this team. Four pitchers who have started games this season — Trevor Cahill (7.66), Randall Delgado (5.50), Brandon McCarthy (5.54) and Bronson Arroyo (7.77) — have worse.
29. Chicago Cubs: There’s still hope for a .400 hitter — it’s anyone batting against Carlos Villanueva. In his first 19 innings, Villanueva has allowed 40 hits, a 2.21 WHIP and a .412 average against. Lefties are only hitting .395 against him, but they’re slugging .674. Villanueva has a 1.024 OPS against and lost his place in the starting rotation. It doesn’t say much for the Cubs that he didn’t lose his spot on the roster.
30. Houston: The Astros are Colin McHugh’s third team in three seasons and for the Mets and Rockies, he allowed 47 earned runs and 11 home runs in 47.1 innings. For the Astros he’s allowed five hits and a run in 15.1 innings, fanning 19 and lowering his career ERA more than two runs from 8.93 to 6.89. That alone should be good for more than the nine starts the pitching-rich Rockies and Mets gave him.