Things were not going well. My team was mired in 11th place. My pitching staff had more blown saves than wins, and the team’s batting...well, I’ll just say my designated hitter was Billy Butler. Yes, I know I named the team Lost Cause, but I didn’t really mean it. Why did I get into this miserable game in the first place? How long would the agony last?
Not very long, it turns out. Things would start to get better on day two of the season.
Auto Draft Beats You offered me Dayan Viciedo for Jake Odorizzi. Since that’s one of the reasons I stockpiled pitching depth in the first place--to be able to trade pitchers--it was easy to accept. And so far it’s been a good trade for me. Viciedo has been my top OBP guy in April (which is not necessarily a compliment, but more about that later). Meanwhile, I picked up Jesse Chavez to replace the injured Jesse Crain. One Jesse for another. So far, that’s worked out pretty good too.
After the rough start on opening day, my team surprised me by spending most of the month near the top of the league, based in part on an unsustainably low team ERA. Mark Buehrle has been my Jason Vargas, and Chavez has been my Ervin Santana. Yu Darvish, despite missing the first week of the season after injuring himself in his sleep, has been everything Yu could expect, and Max Scherzer’s league-leading 51 strikeouts have been valuable too. I can’t complain about my pitching staff at all.
But the hitting...that’s been another story. Lost Cause has truly lived up to its name in the batter’s box. My team is last or next to last in runs, home runs, RBI, and OBP. You’d think I had a team full of Royals. Just like the Royals, my team scored exactly 105 runs in April, and had fewer than 100 RBI. If it weren’t for Brian Dozier’s 7 home runs, Lost Cause would be far behind the rest of the league in that category as well.
But I’ve been watching Dayton Moore, learning how to address problems like this. So I’m trying to right my sinking ship by rearranging the deck chairs. I’ve added Texians Donnie Murphy, Robinson Chirinos, and Jesus Guzman to try to shore up my floundering infield. I know, I was surprised that these perennial All-Stars were still available too. But so far (surprisingly) it hasn’t helped. Add the fact that Conor Gillaspie--my only infielder other than Dozier who appears to be capable of getting on base--has landed on the disabled list, and I’m left with nothing but a vague hope that everyone else will improve.
I feel just like a real GM.