The boys of summer are back! That means baseballs are flying out of ballparks, sunflower seeds are being ingested at alarming rates, and it is time to dust off 3 Up and 3 Down because Major League Baseball season is here.
1. Yankees Starting Pitching (everyone but Masahiro Tanaka that is). All throughout spring training the big question facing the Bombers staff was, who behind Tanaka was going to pull their weight? Well, the answer so far is EVERYONE! Speaking of weight, CC Sabathia leads the way here as through 3 starts (I know that does not a season make), the hefty lefty is 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA. Looks like he has made the transition from power pitcher to “pitcher”. Right behind him is the enigmatic Michael Pineda. After his first start, some were calling him Michael Pinata, okay maybe that was just me, but since then he has been lights out. He went 7.2 innings giving up 2 hits and a run with 11 strikeouts in his second start, and followed that up with 7 innings and 2 earned runs in Sunday’s win against the Cardinals.
Photo: New York Post
He has always had the talent, maybe now the lights have come on for him? Then again, maybe this is just what happens when a guy is in the last year of his contract and he is fighting for his next one. The most exciting starting pitching development for Joe Girardi and the Yankees has to be Luis Severino. The homegrown hurler who pitched so well in 2015, but so poorly last year, has put together back to back great starts after a clunker in his first game. He has gone a total of 15 innings over that span and punched out 21 batters. These guys have more than held their own, now isn’t it Tanaka time?
2. New York Metropolitans fans loved what they had in Michael Conforto when he burst on the scene in 2015. The rookie played a pivotal role for the club down the stretch and into the playoffs. He then capped that off by hitting two home runs in Game 4 of the World Series. Unfortunately, 2016 got off to horrible start and he was sent down to the minors for a stretch. This year, despite having a hard time getting consistent at-bats, has been very encouraging for Conforto.
Photo: Amazin’ Avenue
Before going 0-4 in Tuesday’s game against the Phillies, he was hitting .353 on the young season with 2 home runs and a handful of RBI’s. He obviously still holds much promise, but as of today, he is a fourth outfielder. Complicating matters, and limiting his playing time is the fact that along with entrenched teammates, Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, Conforto is a left handed batter. Not your prototypical leadoff hitter, he has filled the bill of late because the Grandyman has been anything but Grandy! Keep an eye on this situation, manager Terry Collins has some juggling to do here.
3. The fact that he toils in Colorado for the Rockies should not be held against the great Nolan Arenado. This guy mashes baseballs just to stay in shape! In the last two years he has hit 42 and 41 homers and knocked in 130 and 133 runs respectfully. Already this season he is hitting .357 with 6 bombs and 11 runs batted in. Death, taxes, Arenado.
1. Jose can you see.. THE BASEBALL any longer? You know things are not going good for a hitter when in looking for his individual batting average, I had to scroll down to amongst the team’s pitchers names to find it. Sadly that is where Jose Reyes resides as of this writing.
Photo: The New York Times
His .100 BA is only better than Mets pitchers who are all mired at .000. All kidding aside, Reyes is 5 for 50 so far with 0 HR’s, 0 RBI’s, 3 runs scored and a .182 OBP. He has gone from the leadoff spot to batting seventh in the span of 14 games. How low can he go? Stay tuned folks, this could end ugly.
2. Despite their great start on the field, the Yankees organization has been hamstrung by biceps injuries to two of their cornerstone players. Gary Sanchez was forced to leave the Pinstripes game on Saturday, April 8th in Baltimore following one of his ferocious swings. Here is how explained what happened to ESPN: “I felt kind of like a pull when I had that swing when I fouled the ball off. I did not feel it on any other swing — just on that foul off the high fastball, I felt like I pulled it right there. I tried to swing, and I felt it again, and they took me out of the game.” The Sanchise was put on the 10 day disabled list the next day and a reasonable timeframe for return was thought to be 4 weeks. The club is hoping to get their backstop back into the fray sooner than that however. Then word came on Tuesday night that phenom shortstop, Gleyber Torres, was scratched from his start for the Trenton Thunder with what is being described as, “biceps tendinitis”.
Photo: Pinstriped Prospects
The #2 prospect in MLB (according to ESPN’s Keith Law), is to undergo an MRI Wednesday, so it is too early to tell what his timetable for return will be. On top of his best offensive players being banged up, remember that Brian Cashman has already lost his top pitching prospect, James Kaprielian, to Tommy John surgery.
3. Following last night’s 8-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays are now 2-11. Not only that, but third baseman, Josh Donaldson, and pitchers, Aaron Sanchez and J.A Happ, are now on the disabled list. Offensive production, or lack thereof, is where the Jays are really feeling blue? For example, did you know that Joey Bats (Jose Bautista) is hitting just .128 with 0 HR’s and 0 RBI’s, or that Russell Martin is at .114 with 1 and 1 himself? I think it is safe to say that things have gone south up north right from the get go.
Have your own version of 3 Up and 3 Down that you would like to proffer? Feel free to do so below.
Thanks for reading and we will see you next week!