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What's surprising you so far this year? That the Orioles, Mariners and Padres are all 6-2? The Mets are 3-4? AL pre-season darlings Cleveland and Boston are 1-7 and 2-6, (not so) respectively?

On an individual level, did you really think Nick Swisher would be hitting .458? Or that he'd be lagging behind Emilio Bonifacio (who?) at .485  or the greatness of Cristian Guzman at .515? Is that really Toronto's Adam Lind leading the major leagues with 12 RBI?

So exactly what -- teams, players, individual feats -- is surprising you so far this 2009 season? Who will keep it up? Who is destined for a spectacular fall?

Feel free to point out the surprisingly negative, too -- and anyone who honestly believes Guzman will be hitting .315 -- much less .515 -- in August, raise your hand so we can ban you from this site forever!
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John Northey - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#198395) #
Always fun to look at the standings. (FYI: all info via Baseball Reference - dang have they improved it)

First place teams: Baltimore, KC, Seattle, Florida, Chicago Cubs, San Diego
Last place teams: Boston, Cleveland, Texas, Washington (0-7), Houston, San Fran

A few in last are no shock (the NL group) but outside of the Cubs did anyone predict any of the other leaders to be leaders right now?  In the AL only KC wasn't in last in 2008 and they missed last place by 1 game.  San Diego was in last and had a 9 games margin on 2nd last in their division.  April produces weird results indeed.

Toronto leads in OPS+ in the AL (124) while Boston is at 78 (!).  The Jays have scored 59 runs (4 more than any other AL team) while Boston is 2 from the bottom (29 runs is all they have scored so far).

David Purcey is #2 in the AL for K's (and #1 in walks allowed).  Brian Tallet is #18.  Chien-Ming Wang has allowed 15 runs in 4 2/3 IP for a 28.93 ERA (!) with 6 walks (2.6 per 9 IP is his career average).

The 'Bonds meter' - who is still having an OBP above his 2004 season long figure of 609 (!) or his 2001 season long Slg% of 863 (!) or an OPS+ over his 2002 season long figure of 268 (!).  Geez, were those amazing or what regardless of how it was done (hard to cheat in a video game and get those figures).
OBP: AL: no one, NL: no one
Slg: AL: Swisher, Longoria, Quentin NL: no one
OPS+: AL: Swisher NL: no one
Just helps enforce how insane those years from 2001 to 2004 were (349/559/809 for an OPS+ of 256 over 2443 PA's).
Geoff - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#198396) #
I can't believe Swisher is maintaining a 0.00 ERA and has even struck a batter out with some nasty offspeed stuff.

He even homered in the same game he K'd poor Gabe Kapler. The Yankees acquired Babe Ruth from the Sox this past offseason.

C Snoy - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#198397) #
I am surprised that a cycle was hit so early, and that it was O-Dawg who made it happen. Glad to see it though, I always liked him.
westcoast dude - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#198398) #
The Red Sox have stumbled out of the gate and their woes just cranked up another notch with Dice-K's one inning last night.  The Ortiz decline was not unexpected, but his OPS of .478 is shocking. Pedroia has managed to crawl above the Mendoza Line, but he's the video game All-Star, for Pete's sake. Youkilis has been awesome, but as a consequence he has 5 RBIs to show for it.  Ah, but none of this will last.  Jason Bay is an upgrade over Manny, I have to admit, but at what cost?  The intangibles.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#198400) #
Mick, banning a Bauxite for believing that Cristian Guzman might be hitting .315 in August seems a little harsh.  He hit .328 in limited at-bats in 2007 and .316 in a full season in 2008.  He has done it over the last two years by cutting down on his strikeouts. 

On the other hand, he's got a BABIP of .630 so far this year, and he's unlikely to have a BABIP of even .380 when the season ends. 
Chuck - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#198401) #

Ahh, fun with small samples...

David Ortiz has zero extra-base hits in 8 games.

Adam Dunn is on pace to break Bonds' single-season walk record.

Milton Bradley is hurt (that's a surprise to Jim Hendry, if nobody else).

Sonny days in Tampa. Cher and share alike. I got two Gabes.

Tampa is 12-0 in stolen base attempts.

Gary Sheffield hasn't been released yet.

Andruw Jones is 5 for 8. Omar Vizquel is 4 for 8. Both could just as easily be out of baseball entirely.

Pierre (OPS+ of 73), Byrnes (OPS+ of -1) and Matthews (OPS+ of 43) make 10M/11M/12M respectively.

Andy LaRoche continues to disappoint the sabermetric community. He's 0 for 14.

Ryan Howard has stopped walking and started hitting singles (1 BB, 10 H of which 6 are 1B).

The A's have all of 3 homeruns in 8 games. Cust has two of them.

Cody Ransom (OPS+ of -26) is no Alex Rodriguez.

Alex Gonzalez is showing no ill effects from missing an entire season. No wait, yes he is. He's 0 for 16.

John Northey - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#198402) #
Seeing Alex Gonzalez listed after missing a season made me look it up to see if it was the Jays old A-Gone.  Nope, it was the 'other' A-G who started in Florida.  What is funny is how his most similar list has for ages 23,27,28, and 29 was Alex Gonzalez (Toronto career start).  For age 30 he shifts to Davey Johnson who is listed as most similar for TO AG at 31 (the A-G Florida is A-G Toronto's most similar at 30).  How weird for two guys to have the same name and to be 'most similar' statistically too so often.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#198403) #
Sonny days in Tampa. Cher and share alike. I got two Gabes.

Nice, Chuck.  You aint a pretenda.
Geoff - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#198405) #
Mick, you know that Guzman hit .316 last year, right? In more than 600 PA.

.328 the year before in just under 200 PA.

He's no Johnny Mac; he can handle his lumber like a pro.

Geoff - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#198406) #
nevermind, failed to hit submit button on the page hours ago and see that i got beat to the punch. Cristian for MVP!
christaylor - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#198407) #
Swisher is the only story that interests me... I don't mind when they spent half a billion dollars to sign three FA. I do sort of mind when they get a talent of Swisher's level for peanuts (and to paraphrase a somewhat amusing ad on baseball-reference, I as well love the re-design) maybe cracker -- that kind of ticks me off.

BAL may lead now but I give the Jays a week to over-take them and then never trail them for the rest of the season.
GregJP - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#198408) #
I find it amusing that everybody writes off these small sample size anomalies in April, but then takes the results of a best of 5 playoff series in October so seriously.

As serious baseball fans what can we do to eradicate the complete joke that three rounds of playoffs are in a sport that requires dozens (if not hundreds) of games to differentiate between teams?

scottt - Wednesday, April 15 2009 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#198410) #
Not sure what you want to eradicate there, but if for you wining the pennant is more important than winning the World Series, so much the better. You don't have to convince anyone.

Wakefield almost threw a no-hitter today.

AWeb - Thursday, April 16 2009 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#198422) #
Chris Carpenter has come back after essentially missing two years, at soon to be age 34, and pitched 10 dominant innings so far (5 hits, 10/2 KK/BB).

Kinsler added the second cycle of the year last night, plus another double and single (has anyone come closer to a "double cycle" than needing two more hits of a specific type?).

Rich Harden has struck out 18 in 9 IP, but has an ERA of 5.00.

Kevin Millwood has been very good so far, after two years of being very bad. Maybe Texas gets something out of that contract after all?

Kyle Lohse leads the majors in WHIP.

zeppelinkm - Thursday, April 16 2009 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#198425) #

What about Kevin Millwood indeed... is this sustainable? A 2 start blip? He's been so awful the last couple of years I really have to think it's just a good stretch he's going through.

What about Scott Rolen as a surprise? A lot of people had written him off (and a few steady defenders saw the light) He's certainly exceeding expectations to this point.

 It was nice to see Hayten Penn get a W for Flordia too.


Chuck - Thursday, April 16 2009 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#198427) #
Chris Carpenter has come back after essentially missing two years, at soon to be age 34, and pitched 10 dominant innings so far (5 hits, 10/2 KK/BB).

He's hurt again and out indefinitely.
MatO - Thursday, April 16 2009 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#198428) #

Chris Carpenter has come back after essentially missing two years

He's gone back on the DL.  Ribcage problem.  Carpenter makes AJ look like an ironman.

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