Baseball’s regular seasons fit nicely into a window made up of six months of the calendar. That first month is over with the Houston Astros putting up one of their best opening months in their history at 16-9, which is percentage points behind the 15-8 Yankees and Orioles for best in the AL and second best in all of baseball.
It is time to make a few quicky awards for the first month of the season. We’ll just call them the ChipalattAwards.
Pitcher of the Month. Dallas Keuchel. Put forth any other name and you are just being goofy. 5-0 and he left the 6th game with a 2-1 lead. At least 7 innings in every start. 2 runs is the most he has given up and that was in his 9 inning complete game win at Cleveland. First in wins in the AL, first in innings pitched, 3rd in ERA among qualifiers – he is looking even better than he did in his Cy Young season after one month and is also Player of the Month for the Astros.
Runner-up. Chris Devenski. He’s had a few bumps lately, but his pitching was critical in 5 of their first 11 wins. His 2.16 ERA and .600 WHIP are strong, but his 32 Ks vs only 2 BB in 16.2 IP is world class.
Everyday (almost) Player of the Month. Evan Gattis. Even though he is tied for 10th on the team in plate appearances, he is tied for first with 14 RBIs. His .321 BA/.400 OBP/.918 OPS is impressive, but more impressive is his ability with runners in scoring position. RISP – .444 BA / .476 OBP / 1.254 OPS 2 outs RISP – .667 / .714 / 1.714
Runner-up. George Springer. His BA and OBP are too low, but his 16 runs scored, 7 HRs and 14 RBIs have meant a lot to the team. Brian McCann is right here also due to what he has brought the team behind the plate as well as at it.
Looking in a mirror winners. No contest here. The twin brothers of different mothers award goes unanimously to Brian McCann and Evan Gattis
Biggest Surprise (Positive). Brad Peacock. For a guy who only made the team out of ST due to Collin McHugh’s injury, he has been an under the radar contributor to date. After 7 scoreless appearances, he did give up a run Sunday – but his numbers to date are pristine. 2-0 record, 18 Ks and only 4 hits in 11.1 IP and a 0.79 ERA.
Runner-up. This may be Yulieski Gurriel, who after a slow start this season is spraying line drives all over the place. After the first week of the season, he was putting up a pitiful .095 BA / .095 OBP / .190 OPS. At the end of the month he was one of the best hitters on the club with a .329 / .354 / .835 line.
Biggest Surprise (Negative). Tie. Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran – The two Puerto Ricans were supposed to ride their World Baseball Classic success into a strong start of the season. Instead they both end April with only 2 HR and 8 RBIs and .650 OPS and .627 OPS respectively.
Runner-up. Not sure. Alex Bregman who is just OK, but lacking the power he showed last season? Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson who have more positive outings than negative, but crummy ERAs to date?
Best Survivor of the World Baseball Classic. Jose Altuve who has risen up to a .326/ .402 / .874 slash. Yawn. Can’t this guy do anything to thrill us like an OBP of .500? He is also the winner of the best leadoff stats for a guy who is not allowed to leadoff.
Runner-up. Nori Aoki who started off on fire and now is just solid.
Best Imitation of a Power hitter by a non-power hitter. Marwin Gonzalez who is second on the team with 5 HR and on pace for 32 dingers.
Runner-up – Jake Marisnick already has 2 HRs in only 21 ABs and also has the highest SLG and OPS on the team.
Most Likely to Get Replaced in the Rotation. Mike Fiers with his 5.12 ERA / 1.603 WHIP and less than 5 innings per start.
Runner-up. Joseph Musgrove who is a bit better in every way and who better have a longer leash than Fiers.
Your turn. What April Awards would you like to hand out?