- First baseman Chris Davis of the
Orioles took the first American League Player of the Week honors of the
season after amassing four home runs, driving in 17 runs, and leading the majors
in OPS (1.636). Baltimore looks to repeat the success of last year, and
Davis will be a
major key in their efforts.
- Kevin Kernan of the New York Post examines C.C. Sabathia’s
second start of the season here.
The lefty’s velocity was still down around 90-91 miles per hour, but
Sabathia befuddled Tigers hitters to the tune of seven scoreless innings. The ace will alleviate concerns over his
drop in velocity as long as he maintains this type of
- Cue the ‘A-Roid’ jokes. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post
reported that a representative of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez
attempted to buy records from Biogenesis in an effort to destroy documents that
held his name in connection with the purchase of performance-enhancing
drugs. A spokesman for Rodriguez
immediately denied the reports.
MLB, in turn, conducted a similar transaction of its own with
- Stephen Drew made his first start at
shortstop for the Red Sox on Wednesday, taking the place of Jose Iglesias
in the lineup. According to the Boston Herald, Boston has had 28 players
start at the position since Nomar Garciaparra was traded in 2004. They hope prospect Xander Bogaerts stops
the cycle in the next two years.
- Fenway Park’s sold-out streak ended at 820 games
(including playoffs) on Wednesday night.
Drew shouldn’t look too much into that.
- Toronto’s season isn’t off to a
fast start, and they won’t be getting the help of starter Ricky Romero anytime
soon. Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun reported that Romero is
still working on his delivery, trying to land properly and square up to the
plate. Brett Lawrie is close to
returning, however, as the third baseman played in his third consecutive
extended spring training game on Saturday, seeing time at second
- The AL East will be a tight enough
race as is. An injury to a
significant piece of a team could drastically alter the projected
standings. The Blue Jays
suffered a potentially crippling loss when shortstop Jose Reyes severely
sprained his ankle in a sliding attempt at second base on Friday night. Reyes could be out for up to three
months. Watch out for friends
sneaking alterations to their AL East
- Closer Addison Reed’s first year as
closer of the White Sox last season didn’t go as smoothly as he would
have liked. This year, Reed is
perfect in three opportunities, as he hasn’t surrendered a run over five
innings. Daryl Van Schouwen of the
Chicago Sun-Times likens his success
this year to an improved slider.
- Chicago lost its starting second
baseman for six weeks when Gordon Beckham fractured his left wrist during a
swing on Tuesday. Third baseman
Jeff Keppinger will likely slide over to second base for the time being. Beckham was hitting .316 through seven
games, though his .649 OPS matched up with his poor results of the past two
- Two weeks into the season, Cleveland’s
starting pitching has a 4.47 earned-run average. Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer outlines the rotation’s
early struggles here.
- Indians starting pitcher
Carlos Carrasco made his first start since August 3rd, 2011. Carrasco had just finished serving a
five-game suspension he had incurred in July of 2011 for throwing over the head
of Kansas City’s
Billy Butler. The right-hander
proved that he learned the error of his ways by… plunking Kevin Youkilis with a
pitch. Second baseman Robinson Cano
had belted a home run on Carrasco’s previous pitch. Though Carrasco denied any intention,
MLB saw it differently as it dealt him an eight-game
-Manager Jim Leyland recently told the
Detroit Free Press that he is
comfortable using Joaquin Benoit in the closer role, though he did not rule out
using other pitchers in that role should the need arise. Meanwhile, former closer Jose Valverde
worked out in Lakeland,
Florida on Wednesday in attempt to
make his comeback.
- So, what has the storyline been in
thus far? Their new venture to the
American League? The intriguing new
inter-division rivalry they have developed with the Texas Rangers? No, the storyline has mostly been about
strikeouts. And lots of them. Rumor is that the Astros have saved
money by turning off the cooling system to Minute Maid Stadium. The whiffing of all those bats has been
most cooling for the fans in the park.
All kidding aside, Chip Bailey of the Houston Chronicle projects the current
strikeout rate for some players here and it is… unsettling. Astros fans may want to read that with
an empty stomach.
- Angels fans cringed upon the
announcement that ace Jered Weaver would miss four to six weeks following a
broken bone in his elbow. The
right-hander suffered the injury awkwardly falling on his left arm after dodging
a line drive. Los Angeles is going to
have to get by with a mostly mediocre rotation for at least a month, which is
not going to help their slow start.
- Left-hander Matt Harrison of the
Rangers landed on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. Harrison will be eligible to be activated on April
- Seattle added another starting pitcher to their
staff when they acquired Aaron Harang from the Rockies.
Harang posted a 3.61 earned-run average 179 2/3 innings for the Dodgers
last year and will certainly give their rotation a boost if he is able to
replicate those numbers.
- Want some more Justin Upton
records? If the answer was no, then
too bad. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that
Upton became the
first player in major league history to hit five home runs in the first five
games with a new team. The left
fielder also set a franchise record for most homers in the first five
games. Stay tuned for more
- Evan Gattis has been a welcome
addition to the Braves lineup.
Gattis blistered the ball in spring training and is now doing it on the
major league level. The Braves will
seek plenty of opportunities to shift the power hitter to multiple positions in
attempt to get him in the lineup.
Gattis has smacked four home runs through the first two weeks of the
season while covering for injured catcher Brian
- Philadelphia’s pitching is off to
a poor start. Well, that’s putting
it lightly. Philadephia’s pitching
is off to a historically bad start.
That’s more telling. Matt
Gelb of the Philadelphia Enquirer
found that only the 1931 Phillies allowed more runs in their first six games.
The 2009 pitching staff that sent
the Phillies to a second-consecutive World Series was part of the bottom five,
so it is a little too early to press the panic
- There is a silver lining with the
poor start for the Phillies pitching staff. Roy Halladay earned his 200th
career victory with a solid start against the offensively challenged Miami
Marlins on Sunday. Halladay
surrendered one run on five hits in eight innings.
- Anybody who thought the Astros would
have the worst offense in baseball might want to think again. The Miami Marlins have scored 20
runs through their first 12 games, by far the lowest in the majors behind the
Tampa Bay Rays at 33. Their team
OPS is dead last at .539, as their best hitter in Giancarlo Stanton is
homer-less through 30 at-bats and now injured.
- Cincinnati came under scrutiny
when they announced Shin-soo Choo would be playing full time in center field, a
position he had fielded a grand total of 10 games in his major league
career. While Choo had two errors
last year in 151 games playing right field, he matched that total playing center
field in just one game against St.
Louis on Monday.
- Reds starter Johnny Cueto was
removed in the fifth inning of his start against the Pirates on Saturday with
pain in his right triceps. Cueto
was seen visibly rubbing his right arm in discomfort and was subsequently taken
out of the game. The Reds ace is
going on the 15-day disabled list.
- Carlos Marmol shouldn’t feel too
bad, as he was not the only closer to lose his role before the first week of the
season had ended. The
Brewers announced on Monday that closer John Axford would be replaced by
set-up man Jim Henderson. Axford
surrendered six runs in 2 2/3 innings and coughed up four home runs in the
- Axford may have lost his spot as the
closer, but that did not stop the Brewers from putting him in a
high-leverage situation on Tuesday night against the Cubs. The right-hander loaded the bases in the
eighth inning before being taken out of the game. Alfredo Figaro allowed all three runs to
score, as Axford took the loss for the Brewers. Much to the chagrin of Brewers fans, the
bullpen issues remain.
- Cardinals fans were dealt
troubling news when a MRI revealed a tear in Jason Motte’s ligament on
Tuesday. If Motte doesn’t show
significant improvement by May 1st, he will undergo Tommy John
surgery and miss the 2013 season.
- What comes to mind when thinking
about the Cubs? Ok, besides
losing. The curse of the Billy Goat
is synonymous with the Cubs as hot dogs are to baseball. On Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs received
a package that was supposed to be delivered to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts. The package turned out to be a severed
head from a goat. Needless to say,
the Cubs staff never delivered the package to
- Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw
won NL Player of the Week with two nearly perfect starts, though he also
contributed with his bat by belting a home run. The lefty absolutely dominated over 16
scoreless innings by issuing only one walk while fanning 16 batters. Kershaw’s name has popped up more often
next to Sandy Koufax, and it’s conceivable, even likely, that will continue long
after his career is over.
- You made history, Matt Cain. I doubt anybody actually told this to
his face, however. Cain became the
first Giants pitcher in 111 years to surrender nine runs in an inning
when he did it against the Cardinals on Sunday, according to the San Francisco
- The scene that captured the second
week in baseball was a charging Carlos Quentin taking on Dodgers pitcher
Zack Greinke on the mound following a hit-by-pitch, which led to a
benches-clearing brawl. The
Padres outfielder had been hit 96 times since 2008, the most in the
majors, preceding yesterday’s game.
The 97th time set him off in the worst way after he took a
fastball on the left arm on a 3-2 pitch in a one-run game. Quentin charged the mound after Grienke
said something to him, as the pitcher threw down his glove and took him head
on. The biggest blow in the whole
ordeal was the broken collarbone Greinke suffered, putting him out for at
least the next month or two, though the right-hander could be out until
sometime in July. The loss of
Greinke is a major blow to the Dodgers, who needed every start out of their
number two starter to top the Giants in the
- MLB announced an eight-game
suspension for Quentin following the brawl, one in which he immediately
appealed. The Padres face
the Dodgers again on Monday, which likely contributed largely to Quentin
dropping the appeal on Sunday.
Jefferson can be reached via
email at email@example.com. Follow him
on twitter (@MLBPJ).
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