While getting off to a slow start is every ballplayer’s worst nightmare, getting off to a fast one is a dream come true. However, experiencing a great April doesn’t really matter much when the months to follow are full of struggles.
Just as we recently talked about certain hitters making their slow starts a distant memory, there are plenty of players who had a ton of fun in baseball’s first month of regular season play. Despite the best-case scenario coming true for them, it’s become a distant memory by seeing their overall stats head in the opposite direction — and pretty fast.
Here are five players who wish April never ended:
P- CC Sabathia (vs. Toronto Blue Jays): $9,000. In 177 career at bats against Sabathia, the Blue Jays lineup is only batting .186, with three home runs, 12 RBIs, 46 strikeouts, and a .239 OBP. Sabathia faced the Blue Jays in his last start and he was very successful. In seven innings, Sabathia gave up two hits, zero earned runs, walked one, and struck out seven. In 2016, Sabathia owns a 3-3 record, 2.83 ERA, 36 hits against, 36 strikeouts, and 15 walks in 41.1 innings pitched.
P- Mat Latos (vs. New York Mets): $6,700. In 90 career at bats against Latos, the Mets’ offense is batting .222, with there home runs, nine RBIs, 19 strikeouts, and a .313 OBP. Latos has found his groove in 2016 after a few rough years. He is facing the 24th ranked offense in baseball, so this could be a good matchup for Latos. At only $6,700, he provides a lot of value to spread the rest of your cash out to your offense.
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Drew Pomeranz, 27 years old, has been a very pleasant surprise in 2016. After being traded to the San Diego Padres in the offseason, the Padres decided to transfer Pomeranz back to the starting rotation after three years of work in the bullpen with the Oakland A’s and Colorado Rockies.
Through his first 10 starts in 2016, he has a 4-5 record, 2.48 ERA, 35 hits against, 69 strikeouts, and 29 walks in 58 innings pitched.
Unfortunately, this left-hander’s talents are being put the waste on the last place San Diego Padres. It is no secret that the Padres will look to sell their talent at the deadline to continue their rebuilding process. Pomeranz will be at the top of everyone’s wish list when they look at the assets the Padres are offering.
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The MLB’s regular-season schedule is 162 games long for a reason – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. While we’re not even at the three-week mark yet, it’s still long enough for us to get a good glimpse as to which players are off to surprisingly great starts.
Baseball is a game of failure, but it’s also a game of averages. Even if a player is white-hot for a certain period of time, they’ll eventually come back down to Earth and maybe even go into a slump to even things out (unless your Bryce Harper). However, some players may use a hot start to propel themselves to a new benchmark moving forward when it comes to their career norms.
Whether the current narrative about players is good or bad, they still have five months of games left to prove themselves, one way or the other. With that in mind, here are five players who have been pleasant surprises thus far.
And yes, I know the obvious ones like Harper, Tyler White, Trevor Story and others are not on this list. I did that on purpose.
Charlie Morton pitched shutout ball into the 7th, finishing 6 2/3 innings, 3 hits and 7 strikeouts, getting the 3-0 decision for Philadelphia over San Diego.
Trevor Brown continued his surprising power surge with a pair of homers and 4 RBI to lead the Giants to a 7-2 victory in Colorado.
Derek Holland gave the Rangers 6 2/3 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 4 in the 8-0 blowout in Seattle.
Justin Upton went 4 for 5 with a homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored in the Tigers 8-2 win over Pittsburgh.
They all owned baseball on April 12, 2016.
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Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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I like the moves the White Sox have done in the offseason. The only problem is what the Royals and Tigers also have done this winter will make it tough for Chicago to keep up.
The Pale Hose finished a disappointing 76 – 86 in 2015 and almost 20 games behind Division winner KC for the AL Central.
Despite the poor results off those player acquisitions Rich Hahn acquired Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie so far in the hot stove this year, and also inked catchers Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro as key moves.
I love this aggression – and even believe that LaRoche and Cabrera will have bounce back seasons for the White Sox this season. Cabrera was pretty decent in the 2nd half, and LaRoche suffered the Adam Dunn NL to AL syndrome.
Having said this already, the Royals are sitting with a talented squad as reigning World Series Champs, and the Tigers added Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton, and bushel full of relievers and Cameron Maybin.
There is no doubt in my mind that Detroit will be much better than their cellar dweller 2015 campaign.
The White Sox have a decent pitching staff in its entirety. Maybe not as talented as the Cleveland Indians, but the Tribe doesn’t have the sticks as Chicago either.
KC has the best bullpen in the Division, and will rely heavily on it again with their grinder offense backing it up.
Chicago is still spending at a decent clip – having a budget of near $123 MIL so far, but Detroit has crept up to near $200 MIL, and KC has paid for its title, by going near the $140 MIL team salary barrier. Read the rest of this entry