Okay, slightly more than a quarter, but close enough. So, let's chew over the numbers from the first 11 games and see who has stood out to date.
Impressive [min 15 PAs]
Paul Goldschmidt: 7-for-15, 5 BB, 1 K, .467/.600/.533
Though you'd probably not notice it immediately from a .533 slugging percentage, Goldschmidt has't shown much power this year, with only one extra-base hit. However, he has been an absolute on-base machine: as noted the other day, that's not a misprint, he has five walks and has struck out once.
Cliff Pennington: 7-for-16, 5 BB, 3 K, .438/.571/.750
Yes, among qualifying hitters, who had Pennington in the "Leading the team in OPS" sweep-stakes? Look, I know there is absolutely no way those numbers are going to carry over in to the regular season: but I'd settle if he was even 150 points less in batting average, 200 in OBP and 300 SLG.
Aaron Hill: 5-for-14, three 2B, .357/.400/.571
Has been somewhat sidelined by a bruised hip, which means has been limited to only five games thus far. However, when he has been healthy, he has been hitting the ball solidly, and has also kept his strikeouts down.
Unimpressive [min 15 PAs]
Alfredo Marte: 3-for-17, 1 BB, 0 RBI, .176/.222/.235
Brad Snyder: 3-for-14, 0 XBH, .214/.313/.214
Matt Davidson: 4-for-19, 6 K, .211/.273/.263
I'm lumping all three of these together, since none of them were names expected to make the Opening Day Roster, and will likely drop off in due course as the PA requirement increases. Despite the struggles, Kirk Gibson has some nice things to say about Marte: "He's moving around more now, feeling more comfortable, not worried about making a mistake. He's relaxing and just starting to play. You can tell he's getting a lot more confidence." Davidson is probably the one I wanted to see most out of, given I'm looking for him potentially to be our starting third-baseman next year. It hasn't seemed that way this spring.
- Among those with realistic roster expectations, the only ones below a .700 OPS are: Martin Prado (.684 OPS, zero walks) and Jason Kubel (.694 OPS, 3-for-15). But both men are a fortunate infield squibber from being above the line, so I don't feel too much concern for any of them. I'm just hoping Prado makes it through the WBC okay, and also gets to play a good chunk of time at third-base, given that's where we want to see him in the regular season.
Impressive [min 2 IP]
Patrick Corbin: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 0.00 ERA
There's no doubt which of the three candidates have taken the lead in the battle for the fifth rotation spot. Corbin has been excellent in both of his starts, and as we'll see, the others...let's just say, haven't. Right now, the position seems very much his to lose, good health permitting.
Charles Brewer: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA
While he has worked from the third through the seventh innings, it's important to note that not all Brewer's work has come in mop-up innings against opposition scrubs. For instance, his appearances to date have included swinging strikeouts of Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Ludwick.
Brandon McCarthy: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 3.60 ERA
There have been those with better ERAs - Eric Smith, Euby De La Rosa and Joe Paterson come to mind - but just look at that gaudy K:BB ratio. Nine strikeouts, no walks. I know pitchers are generally supposed to be ahead of hitters early on, but McCarthy is in danger of lapping the field.
Unimpressive [min 2 IP]
Starling Peralta: 2 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 31.50 ERA
Initially, the question coming into spring was whether he'd make the Opening Day roster, or as a Rule 5 pick, have to be offered back to the Cubs. Now, the question is more along the lines of, would the Cubs want him back? Has never pitched above A-ball, and so far, has the numbers to match.
Tyler Skaggs: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 19.29 ERA
It was expected that he'd give Corbin a run for his money coming in, having been rated in the top 10 prospects nationwide not so long ago. But that hasn't happened, with Skaggs appearing to overthrow, and suffering command issues as a result. His time will come: but 2013 just might not be it.
Evan Marshall: 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 18.00 ERA
We should mention Marshall here, because it's the only chance we'll get, since he was among the first wave of players reassigned to minor-league camp this morning. Was a non-roster invitee to spring training, and a .455 batting average against won't get you a ticket to stick around.