Today will be our first week in review post of the season. Typically these will be Sunday morning but on occasion they may end up after action on Sunday. So let’s get into it and start with who’s hot.
Players who showed up to start the season:
Tyler White, HOU, 3B: .556 avg, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1.758 OPS
Eugenio Suarez, CIN, 3B: .435 avg, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 1.457 OPS
Dexter Fowler, CHC, CF: .526 avg, 7 R, 1.535 OPS
Trevor Story, COL, 3B: .333 avg, 7 HR, 12 RBI, 1.468 OPS
DJ LeMahieu, COL, 2B: .478 avg, 7 R, 1.348 OPS
Clayton Kershaw, LAD, LHP: 15 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 14 K
Noah Syndergaard, NYM, RHP: 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K
Kenta Maeda, LAD, RHP: 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K & HR hit
Felix Hernandez, SEA, RHP: 13 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 7 BB, 16 K
Ross Stripling, LAD, RHP: 7 IP, 1 ER, 0 H, 4 BB, 4 K
I can’t fit everyone hitting .400 on this list, and I also can’t put everyone who gave up 1 run or less in their first start. This week’s players list are just those who had notable performances that stuck out to me. While Greinke may have struggled in his early days as a Diamondback, the pitcher who beat him for the Cy Young award has not. Jake Arrieta is a strong honorable mention as he has won both of his starts, has given up 3 earned runs in 14 innings, and he also hit a home run in support of himself. I wasn’t high on Arrieta when it comes to performing similarly this year but perhaps I just need to watch him pitch more. There are a lot of young guys on this list who you may have never heard of. Sticking with pitching, we have Ross Stripling who didn’t allow a single hit in his MLB debut but was pulled in the 8th inning. He hit his pitch count and had just given up another walk. His velocity was down and he was admittedly tired. Overall there’s a strong justification as to why he was pulled out and I agree with it. One of Stripling’s teammates also made their MLB debut and pitched a gem. Kenta Maeda didn’t allow a run in his 6 innings and he also smacked a home run to help his own cause. So far it’s looking good for the Dodgers to mark their smaller contracts as a win over signing Zack Greinke. Moving on we see Noah Syndergaard who is already pretty well known and highly regarded throughout baseball. In his first start of 2016 he was consistently throwing a fastball at 99, and he also threw a slider at 95. That’s right, he threw a slider faster than most pitchers can throw their fastball. He followed that pitch with two more sliders at 93 mph to get a 3 pitch strikeout. It really wasn’t even fair.
Hitters streak week by week, game by game, but one hitter has risen above all the others this week in the hearts of the media. Appropriately named Trevor Story has his 7 home runs in his first 6 major league games. That number alone has set multiple records including most home runs in a player’s first 6 games, and most home runs in a team’s first 6 games. He wasn’t even in most people’s top 10 prospect lists for Colorado and now he’s in history. How will he continue throughout the season? We’ll have to keep updated with that. As for another unexpectedly hot start, we have Tyler White who’s currently leading the majors with a .556 avg and a 1.758 OPS. He was similarly not found high in top 10 lists despite having a known potential for hitting. Well he got his chance to show off what he’s capable of and he’s definitely making the most of it. I’ll be rooting for him to continue his success throughout the year but we’ll have to wait and see what he really is later in the season. Dexter Fowler is also hitting above .500 currently and he has proved to be a fantastic late signing by the Cubs so far this season. Another player who’s trying to prove his worth is Hanley Ramirez of the Red Sox. So far he’s hitting .455 through his first 5 games. Hanley’s success could be a key factor to the Red Sox AL East and World Series hopes as his and Pablo Sandoval’s struggles were large deterrents to the Red Sox success last year.
It’s premature for any team’s win loss record to mean anything so early in the season, but it can be indicative of what a team is truly capable of when firing on all cylinders or on none at all. The Baltimore Orioles are the only undefeated team in the league, they are 5 – 0 thanks in part to very good pitching and a fully functioning offense. Two teams, the Twins and the Braves, are in the opposite position as the Orioles as they’ve yet to win a game. The Twins are a bit of a surprise at 0-6 as many people felt the Central would be competitive top to bottom. I don’t personally see the Twins contending against the other teams in the division but I suppose maybe I’m missing something. Either way, they’re definitely a lot better than they’ve shown, and they’ll start winning some close ones soon. As for the Braves 0-5 start, well it’s going to be a long year.
In other major player news, Kyle Schwarber has a torn ACL and LCL so that puts a huge damper on the Cubs early on. They’re still a great team and this will help them out defensively but Schwarber’s bat for a full year really could have been something special.