Top ten observations from Major League Baseball thus far
The MLB season has taken off, and there have been many surprises in the season thus far. Let’s take a peek around the league.
- Eric Thames’ Incredible Start
Eric Thames, the former MLB flameout who went to the Korean Baseball League and learned how to hit off-speed pitching, has come back to the United States and has started raking for the Milwaukee Brewers. Thames has already hit 12 home runs and his batting average stands at a very solid .308.
- Starling Marte’s PED suspension
Starling Marte, the star outfielder of the Pittsburgh Pirates, was suspended in the middle of April for using Nandrolone, a substance banned by the MLB. The Pirates are currently in last place in the NL Central, so this suspension is a huge blow to Pittsburg.
- Toronto Blue Jays’ Struggles
After being strong contenders over the previous two seasons, the Toronto Blue Jays are struggling out of the gate. The Jays are in last place in a very strong AL East division and it looks as if a recovery to reclaim the division is a lost cause. They deeply miss the bat of Edwin Encarnacion, who departed for the Cleveland Indians this summer.
- Yankees Come Out Firing
The New York Yankees were not supposed to be this good this soon. After tumultuous years with overpaid and elderly players, the Yankees have finally invested more in their youth and have resurged. The big surprise this season is the start of Aaron Judge, the 6’7”, 282-lb right fielder who has been amazing in his rookie season. Judge is tied with Ryan Zimmerman with 13 home runs, leading all of the MLB. Additionally, he has batted .320 to start the season, a number that many did not expect him to achieve after a very poor .179 batting average in 95 plate appearances last year.
Both Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals and Carlos Gomez of the Texas Rangers have hit for the cycle in the first month of the season. For those unfamiliar with the term, a cycle means hitting a single, double, triple and home run, all in the same game. This is a very rare feat, and for two players to accomplish this in the first month of the season should not go unnoticed.
- Ryan Zimmerman: the Legend
Once a great player for the Washington Nationals, age and injury have lent a hand to the decline of Ryan Zimmerman. He has not been a relevant baseball player since 2013, making his incredible start to the 2017 season dumbfounding. Zimmerman is hitting .435 with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs to start the season. It has been a tremendous surprise. With his play, coupled with the return of Bryce Harper to stardom, the Nationals have a legitimate case as the best team in baseball.
- Cody Bellinger: Savior of the Dodgers
Okay fine, maybe this is not as notable as other performances, but Cody Bellinger has passed the struggling Dansby Swanson as the favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year. Bellinger came up for the Dodgers after Logan Forsythe and Joc Pederson were sent to the Disabled List for injuries, and he looks like he needs to stay. Bellinger already has five home runs, 14 RBIs and is batting .357 in 46 plate appearances. Bellinger is assumed to be Adrian Gonzalez’s replacement at first base in the future, but with Gonzalez struggling, the replacement could come sooner rather than later.
- Noah Syndergaard Refuses MRI
Do not try to be a hero in April. After Noah Syndergaard refused a request by the Mets to have an MRI, he tore his lat muscle in his next start. Not a good look for the New York Mets.
- Chris Sale Does Not Disappoint
After being acquired by the Boston Red Sox for a huge lot of prospects this winter, Chris Sale has been incredible in Boston. In 45.2 innings, Sale has a 1.38 ERA and 63 strikeouts. He has lived up to the hype and should propel the Red Sox toward a deep playoff run.
- San Francisco Giants Last in the Division
The San Francisco Giants have not been a good club in 2017. Mark Melancon has not been the cure to the bullpen woes as many assumed he would, and the offense and pitching have not clicked. The big loss, however, is the big injury to star pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner decided to go dirt-biking during the season and suffered shoulder and rib injuries that will keep him out through the all-star break. Tough loss for the Giants.
Written by: Michael Wexler — email@example.com