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Some thoughts at the halfway point (42-39)


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Here are our records from 2012-14 at the halfway point:

2012: 44-37 (49-32 second half)

2013: 45-36 (40-41 second half)

2014: 42-39 (54-27 second half)

I think it is pretty obvious that it is the second half that will define how this team is remembered.

My thoughts on our key players at midseason (all grades on a curve according to expectations, and I'm only grading batters with 100 PA or more plus Wieters):

Chris Davis .236/.324/.475, 18 HR, 49 RBI -- More or less what I was expecting from him. He's been streaky and could end up significantly higher or lower when it's all over. Grade: C+.

Ryan Flaherty .248/.328/.386, 3 HR, 20 RBI -- He filled in admirably for Schoop while he was out, and I dooubt he stayus in the minors long. Grade: B-.

Manny Machado .302/.357/.527, 17 HR, 46 RBI -- He has blossomed offensively, has been a bit more erratic defensively than in the past but still excellent. Grade: A-.

J.J. Hardy .243/.276/.341, 4 HR, 20 RBI -- Missed the first five weeks or so, has been steady defensively but perhaps a half-step slower, clutch on offense but without much power. Grade: C-.

Matt Wieters .224/.250/.463, 3 HR, 10 RBI -- Missed two months and came back with his bat blazing, but has cooled considerably. Has controlled the running game (only three steals in 15 starts). Grade: B-.

Caleb Joseph .237/.310/.373, 5 HR, 21 RBI -- Filled in admirably for Wieters, hasn't done as well defensively in 2015 (24% CS%). Grade: C+.

Travis Snyder .260/.330/.381, 3 HR, 20 RBI -- About what I expected, with a little less power. Grade: C.

Adam Jones .283/.330/.456, 10 HR, 37 RBI -- Has been either red hot or ice cold, and has struggled since hurting his shoulder. Excellent defensively. Grade: C+.

Delmon Young .270/.289/.339, 2 HR, 16 RBI -- Never really got it going in 2015. Grade: D-.

Jimmy Paredes ..314/.344/.508, 10 HR, 38 RBI -- Huge surprise. Grade: A.

Steve Pearce .219/.287/.374, 6 HR, 22 RBI -- Big step down from last year. Grade: D.

David Lough .216/.262/.351, 4 HR, 12 RBI -- Great defender, but can't hit. Grade: D.

Alejandro de Aza .214/.277/.359, 3 HR, 7 RBI -- Never got it going. Grade: D-.

Everth Cabrera .208/.250/.229, 0 HR, 4 RBI -- Adequate defensively, but his offense was full of fail. Grade: F.

Ubaldo Jimenez 7-4, 2.96 ERA -- Consistently good all season and looks like a completely different pitcher from last year. Grade: A-.

Wei-Yin Chen 4-4, 2.84 ERA -- Consistently good and has been going much deeper in games (6.33 IP/start). Grade: A.

Miguel Gonzalez 6-5, 4.04 ERA -- On a downtick lately, but generally solid. Grade: C+.

Chris Tillman 6-7, 5.57 ERA -- Really disappointing, but the offense has bailed him out to a degree. Grade: D-.

Bud Norris 2-8, 6.63 ERA -- Deservedly banished to the bullpen. Grade: F.

Zach Britton 0-0, 1.82 ERA, 23 saves in 24 chances -- Could hardly have been better. Grade: A.

Darren O'Day 5-0, 1.14 ERA -- Ditto. Grade: A.

Chaz Roe 2-1, 2.45 ERA -- Excellent job by a guy not even on the radar screen when the season began. Grade: A-.

Brad Brach 3-2, 3.35 ERA -- Had a shaky start but generally has been solid. Grade: B.

Tommy Hunter 2-1, 3.93 ERA -- Sort of inconsistent this season. Grade: C+.

Brian Matusz 1-2, 2.45 ERA -- ERA is deceptive, he has allowed a lot of inherited runners to score and has been yanked after 1-2 batters several times. Grade: C-.

Kevin Gausman 1-0, 3.09 ERA -- Slow start, now in the rotation and hopefully he earns the right to stay there. Grade: C+

I'm no going to grade Wright and Wilson or the others who have generally been up and down.

Overall, the offense has been solid but inconsistent, the starting pitching has been disappointing, the defense has been good but not as good as 2013-14 IMO, and the bullpen has been very good. There's half a season left to play, and we'll see who get it together and who falters. Hang on for the ride!

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He had to make a pretty strong throw in Friday night. His swing looks messed up a little but maybe he just got in a bad habit from when the shoulder was bad. If he can throw, it's hard to figure how it would affect his swing.

He sure does not seem to be swing well. That's all.

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Nice little write-up.

A few changes for me....

-Giving Wieters a higher grade than Davis doesn't seem right with all things considered.

-Jones probably deserves better than a C+. Granted, we are a couple months removed from a majority of his production.

-I don't think that Matusz' family would give him a C-. I know that you have a soft spot for him, but that's generous. His ERA is a disgrace to statistics. Giving him the same grade as Hardy (although obviously different positions) is definitely off.

-Splitting hairs, but I would knock the minus off Manny's grade.

I agree with you on pretty much everything else.

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-I don't think that Matusz' family would give him a C-. I know that you have a soft spot for him, but that's generous. His ERA is a disgrace to statistics. Giving him the same grade as Hardy (although obviously different positions) is definitely off.

Well, remember, it's all compared to expectations. I had higher expectations for Hardy than Matusz.

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