Anyone who thinks it's too early to tell how the team is going to do, doesn't know squat about baseball. We are not miraculously going to become an injury-proof, timely-hitting, all-for-one-one-for-all, let's prove it to ourselves, kind of team.
When compared to the other 15 NL teams, we are pretty lousy. Injuries still plague us, and everyone who is supposed to be recovering, will be doing a lot of that (Kemp, Bills, Greinke, Hanley, Lilly, etc.)
After 12 games, here are the RED FLAG important numbers (out of 15 teams):
1. Runs Scored-14th
2. Home Runs-10th
3. Total Bases-11th
5. Stolen Bases-12th
...and so on, and so on, ad nauseam. I'm pretty sure we are first in players left on base, in scoring position or otherwise. But, that's a hard stat to find. And, an even harder one to stomach. Here's something to consider-We have a mediocre infield. Hanley is not a top-tier Short stop, and is feast or famine with clutch hitting. Who knows how he will be when he gets back from the thumb injury? Third base is our perennial hydra that no one has filled suitably since Beltre left. Thankfully, Ellis and Gonzo will do an average, to above average bit of fielding.
Why don't I just break it down by player, to illustrate the point a little clearer...
Kemp-Never returning to form. Will struggle all year.
Andre-Probably get traded at some point, though it kills me to think that, since he has been the most consistent player we've had since 2006. Sucks vs. lefties, but at least he's consistent about it. You know what to expect.
Crawford-Too early to say, but he is coming off injuries and surgeries, and when was the last time he played a whole season? So...
Gonzo-He will be consistent, as his career has shown.
M. Ellis-Not a top tier player, and getting on in years. One or two plusses are fielding, and veteran leadership, but no RBI's, no power, and nothing else.
Hanley-Too early to tell, but probably will hit about .280 on the season, with mediocre fielding, and will struggle when the team starts to decline even more. Remember, hitting is contagious, and when no one is, well...
Cruz-Heart of a lion, unproven for a whole season.
A.J. Ellis-Great catcher. Mediocre otherwise, compared to top tier catchers with power.
Kershaw-Two words: Hip Impingement. Mark my words, he is going to be shut down after throwing too many innings.
Billingsley-Too soon to say, but he has never reached his "potential" and will always struggle, as anyone who has seen him lo these many years can attest.
Lilly-God only knows what to expect, but it wont be good.
Greinke-Done for the season. A pitcher with a broken collar bone? Are you kidding me? Not coming back this season, at least not returning to form.
Capuano-Odd man out eventually.
Ryu-Time will tell. Good singing voice.
Beckett-10-10 W-L for 2013, 3.80 era, 1.3 WHIP, and part of a quarter of a BILLION dollar trade that wont win us any championships, but will possibly put butts in seats until the dog days of summer come when we are losing, and no one cares.
Bottom line is, we are not a great team. Not even a good team. We are an expensive, injury prone, mess.
If the D'backs somehow stop scrapping, the Rockies stop hitting HR's, and the Giant's stop shutting down line-ups and being everyone's favorite team, maybe, just maybe we have a shot. We are all glitz and no substance, except the glitz has been worn off. And, our substance is junk.
"Pitching wins games" is a lie. Good teams win games. I don't see one here.
...and let the knee-jerk reaction, hate-filled, troll comments begin.