We're 14 games into S3 of the GAP. First, a glance at the standings. It's oddly satisfying to see the Rangers 7 games behind my Royals in the early going. Don't get me wrong, sergei is a great guy, and an asset to the GAP. I thought he had a contender in S1, but his squad wobbled all the way to a 71-91 finish. Last year, I thought I was going to only have to get by the Rays to win the AL South, but sergei's boys came out of nowhere.
Speaking of the Rays, "Big Nick" Alexander is looking at a two-month stint on the DL. Tampa Bay will need to keep it close over the next 60 or so games to make a run in the second half.
I'm thrilled to get off to a hot 11-3 start, of course. I don't have a .786 team, but I have the GAP lead in runs scored, at 115. I've done it without my .300/20/100 SS, Clark Hardy, who is about to come off the DL. 24 y/o Michael Cedeno (1092 OPS) has filled in awfully well at 2B, with Jose Silva moving to SS. Silva has struggled, so it will likely be him going to the bench when Hardy gets back. 23 y/o 3B Pedro Jose (1029 OPS) has stepped in nicely as well, and of course, my boy Theo Haney is putting up a 1078 OPS at just 21 years of age.
My younger players have to keep it up, as I have no cap room to pick up any vets. I'm paying S1 FA signees Rizzo and Hudler a combined $38,300,000 this year (and next). My two rookie SPs, Vosberg and McCartney, are a combined 3-0 with 2.74 and 4.58 ERAs. If they can keep it up, and Faulk and Hudler keep doing their thing, I might be able to wire-to-wire this thing.