At the end of the opening weekend, we have three unbeaten teams (Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Texas Rangers) and three 0-3 teams (Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, and Kansas City Royals).
It is way too early to read too much into anything, but here is our selection of 10 talking points from the last four days.
The need for speed
The propensity for teams to send base stealers suggests we are in for more swiped bags than before. My buddy, Jorge Mateo, already leads the league with four successful stolen bases in two games. The fact that he missed Sunday’s game with a cut hand also suggests that we might also have more base-stealing injuries.
I’m sure I’ve seen that guy somewhere before
Great Britain slugger, Trayce Thompson struggled in spring training (4-for-35 with no home runs) but feasted on Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher with a three-homer game. It’s fair to say that when Trayce makes connection, they stay hit.
Surprising and not-so-surprising early-season stars
Hands up if you thought that Boston Red Sox’ new signing, Adam Duvall, would be leading the leading run scorer in MLB. The 34-year-old already has two homers, a triple, three doubles and six runs in his opening three games.
Duvall is not the early-season hits leader; that was a more predictable name in the form of the 2022 batting champion, Luis Arraez. Fresh from his WBC exploits, Arraez is thriving with Miami with 9-for-16.
Vargas is not Spanish for walk
Do you remember in spring training when the Dodgers’ Miguel Vargas wouldn’t swing because of his injured finger, yet pitchers still walked him? Well, he seems to have this ability to mesmerise pitchers into giving him free passes. The second baseman already has eight walks to one strikeout this season.
Rockies outplay Padres
At the opposite end of the walk/strikeout scale is Elehuris Montero, the Rockies’ third baseman, who has struck out eight times in four games without taking a walk. Colorado might be the shock of the season so far, having split the opening series 2-2 with the Padres millionaire dream team in San Diego. Despite the encouraging start, the Rockies are still projected as the worst team in baseball.
Orioles Ryan McKenna felt the highs and lows of baseball in his season debut on 1 April. The 26-year-old made a spectacular catch in left field…
And then, with Boston trailing with two outs in the ninth, McKenna spilt a routine flyball, which was punished moments later by Adam Duvall’s walk-off homer.
A marriage proposal she won’t forget
If McKenna felt bad, imagine how the bloke felt who decided upon a ballpark proposal. If entering the field of play is never a good idea. Then entering the field of play with a security guard whose idea of proportional response is severely lacking is a terrible idea.
From another angle, check out outfielder Lourdes Gurriel’s reaction.
Orioles’ outfielder Ryan McKenna was a fault for taking his eye off the ball when he dropped the catch, but Angels’ Hunter Renfroe received plaudits for his amazing no-look catch. It could be argued that a better route to the ball might have made a spectacular catch less necessary.
Adley’s hot start
Ignore Sunday’s 0-for-5 with three strikeouts as that spoils the narrative, and instead focus on Adley Rutschman’s amazing season debut when he reached base six times in a 5-for-5, four-RBI day.
Final hot take
Shohei Ohtani is good. The WBC hero already has a scoreless, 10-strikeout start and a 447-feet home run to his name.
What’s your highlight of the opening few days? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, or better still, come and join the Bat Flips & Nerds Discord – THE baseball chat forum. Just ask us for the joining link (it’s free of charge).
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