We are nearly a month into the 2008 season now. A few things have gone as I'd expected up to this point. Many things have not. Here are a few things that have taken me by surprise so far:
* I did not expect Carlos Gomez to have more extra-base hits than Delmon Young. Yet, through 25 games, Gomez has seven (five doubles, one triple, one home run) and is slugging .362, while Young has four (three doubles, one triple) and is slugging .309. Thus far, it doesn't seem like the Twins have gotten the power-hitting corner outfielder they thought they were by trading Matt Garza. In fact, it doesn't seem like they've gotten much of a hitter at all. Here's hoping Delmon can turn things around big-time in May.
* I did not expect Livan Hernandez's ERA to stand at a 3.55 ERA, which it did prior to yesterday's start. After surrendering seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings in Texas yesterday, his ERA now stands at 5.05, which is much closer to what I was expecting.
* I did not expect Mike Lamb to be making me miss Nick Punto's offensive contributions. Punto through 25 games in '07: .220/.304/.317. Lamb through 25 games this year: .219/.244/.301.
Just about the only players on the entire roster that have actually lived up to my expectations so far are Joe Nathan, Brendan Harris and Justin Morneau (and, I guess, Matt Tolbert). The only players who have really surpassed my expectations are Nick Blackburn, who holds a 3.45 ERA through five starts, and Dennys Reyes, who has not allowed a run in eight innings of work.
Outside of those six players, there has been a whole lot of under-performance on this team. The bad news is that the result of all these disappointing performances is an 11-14 club that ranks near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories. The good news is that there's basically nowhere to go from here but up.
The Twins have the day off today, and then they play eight consecutive games against AL Central contenders. I want to say that I expect the Twins to play a lot better in these important upcoming series than they did for most of the weekend. But, as I've learned so far this season, it's often best to keep your expectations tempered.