With the beginning of the MLB season dive into a review of players and teams as they step up to the bat for a new season.
By Mark Molz
Major League Baseball is back and if you are a baseball junkie like myself you couldn’t be happier.
Francisco Lindor’s swag, Mike Trout’s dominance, Jacob DeGrom’s unhittable slider, and Christian Yelich’s smooth swing is everything a baseball fan can ask for. And with the return to a 162-game schedule compared to last year's 60 due to COVID-19 we are lucky to get a full year of America's Pastime.
Now a little over a week into the season, let’s take a look at some updates on both the teams and the players.
If you are a Padres fan your season is off to a rather unfortunate start. Even though the Padres are sitting second in the National League West with a 7-3 record, and with one of those games being a no-hitter thrown by Joe Musgrove, nothing can overshadow the fact star player Fernando Tatis might miss the entire season with a recent injury to his shoulder. A normal swing of the bat knocked Tatis out of the game and possibly the season and now all Padres fans can do is sit and wait until they receive more news.
Meanwhile, Francisco Lindor has truly found his new home in the Big Apple, singing a 10-year, $341 million dollar deal with his new team The Mets. Lindor is a perfect fit for New York and hopefully they will appreciate him more than the Cleveland Indians did and he will continue to play at an elite level. Met’s fans should be ecstatic about this signing as Lindor is one of the top shortstops in the game and hopes to bring his all-star caliber skills to his new city.
Red Sox Slugger Martinez is on mission to be much better than last season, and now a week into this year's schedule you could argue he has already surpassed his level of play. Coming off a shortened 60-game season where he hit a mere .213 to go along with seven homers, Martinex definitely wants to leave that season behind him. Now only 9 games into this season and he is boasting a .472 average and has already hit five home runs, which includes a three home run game against the Baltimore Orioles. There are still a lot of games left to play and it will be interesting to see if Martinez can keep his hot start going.
Another player off to a hot start is Tiger’s Rookie, Akil Baddoo. Before this season Badoo had never played a game above Single-A level and took the league by storm in the opening week of the season. In his first three games Baddoo hit a home-run in first major league at-bat, hit a grand slam, and walk-off in his third game. Baddoo is currently hitting .313 with seven RBIs, and two home runs.
Los Angeles Dodgers
It is no surprise that the Dodger’s currently boast the best record in baseball at 8-3 and are the current favorites to win this year’s World Series. If the Dodgers are able to win it all this year they will be the first team to win consecutive World Series since the 1998-99’, and 2000 New York Yankees. Their pitching rotation is filled with aces and with a line-up containing Corey Seager, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, and more it is hard to imagine them not winning it again.
On the other hand, my Oakland Athletics are currently bottom of the barrel. Starting the season 0-6 is not where most teams would imagine themselves. Although they have currently won three of their last four games, they still sit at the bottom of the American League West with a 3-7 record. Even though they lost star closer Liam Hendricks in free agency many people still believe they have the chance to put together a solid season especially after coming off last year where they lost the Astros in the ALDS. It has been a slow start for the A’s, but I wouldn’t panic just yet A’s fans, manager Bob Melvin has been in similar situations before and there is no doubt that he can lead this team to another playoff season.
New York Yankees
Another team off to a start they didn’t expect is the New York Yankees. Currently a game below .500 with a 4-5 record they are off to a much slower start than expected. But, I am not going to look into this one too much as the season is still just underway. With Gerrit Cole leading their rotation and guys like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez in their line-up I would be surprised if they didn’t finish their season atop of the American League East.
It has been an exciting start to this year’s MLB season and hopefully the rest of this year will be full of top plays, star moments, and games that leave you on the edge of your seat.