“Who you got?”
This question is asked by baseball fans across the world. The question is asked even more when you happen to have a job in the baseball industry.
It’s a difficult scenario to be in. Some of us have our biased opinions, some rely solely on spring training statistics (don’t do that), and some take the easy way out and expect a repeat of a World Series Champion.
Now that we have said goodbye to the first week of regular season play, Major League Baseball is consumed with overreactions and worries from fans, and some of them are a bit far fetched.
From an 11-time All-Star said to be “washed up” to a team that’s won a few games suddenly being called the future World Series Champions, some are downright ridiculous.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest overreactions surrounding America’s Favorite Pastime as the sun sets on the first week.
Rougned Odor as 2017 American League MVP
Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor is known for his hitting. It just happens to be in the form of making contact with Jose Bautista’s jaw.
This time around, the 23-year-old is using his aggression for good and proving he’s just as talented in the batter’s box. However, saying Odor is already an American League MVP candidate is not only silly, but way too soon to be discussing such matters.
In 23 plate appearances this season, Odor has a .318/.348/.775 line with a .455 ISO. That’s ridiculous no matter who you are, but like I mentioned we are creeping into our second week of real baseball so calling someone the Most Valuable Player is a bit far fetched.
Don’t get us wrong, Odor is one of the power-packed second basemen that put the position on the fantasy map in 2016. But let’s slow our roll before we get too far ahead of ourselves.
Tampa Bay Rays as 2017 World Series Champions
Being in second place in any division is impressive. You could make a case for yourself as a Wild Card pick and still have an edge to make it all the way.
However, when you have yet to play even a dozen games, there is not a lot you can back up.
Logan Morrison had a phenomenal Opening Day game against the Yankees, which set some type of tone. The 29-year-old went 4-for-4 with one home run and three RBI, and he has continued to do well since then. He currently is holding on to a .333/.333/.458 slash line with eight hits in 24 plate appearances.
When you add in Kevin Keirmaier to the scenario and the pitching rotation being impressive, it will certainly result in wins.
The team faced the Blue Jays in a series recently, and in any other season a series win over them might be impressive. But a really bad outing for Francisco Liriano, Jose Bautista struggling at the plate and Josh Donaldson dealing with a recurring injury means the team isn’t playing at their full potential.
The Rays are on the road for the series opener against the Yankees this week and got blasted 8-1 on Monday. As time goes on we will be able to decide if this team is the real deal or not.
Tim Tebow will play in the majors
Stop this right now.
Tim Tebow is a professional baseball player. That alone is something we need to get our heads around. But nobody can doubt he has the star power to generate some serious buzz whenever he does something remotely amazing.
And he has done that.
He hit a home run in his first at-bat with the Class-A affiliate of the New York Mets, Columbia Fireflies. It was magnificent (watch here).
He then hit his second home run two days later. A three-run shot to right field against the Augusta GreenJackets. The team went on to win 6-0.
Tebow is now one home run shy of Michael Jordan’s home run total during his minor league stint in 1994.
But no, Tim Tebow will not make it to Major League Baseball.
Dallas Keuchel as 2017 American League Cy Young Award winner
This one could happen.
Dallas Keuchel suffered a Cy Young Award hangover in 2016. The 29-year-old had just finished winning the prestigious award with the Houston Astros the previous season and struggled the year after. He lowered his K/9 ratio from 8.39 to 7.71 and with that came an increase in his walk rate. In 168 innings pitched last season he had a 4.55 ERA, which was almost double what he garnered previously.
It’s understandable he was unable to repeat a phenomenal season, but he was a completely different pitcher. He seems to have a better mentality this time around.
Despite a slight drop in velocity, his first two starts have resulted in positives.
He pitched seven innings in both outings and has faced 49 batters so far. He’s throwing a lot of ground balls and has only given up one home run.
His numbers are great, but it’s still a bit early to tell what will happen. All we know so far is this is the season he needs to prove himself. Even if he’s not good enough to win another Cy Young Award, he’s part of a team that still stands a chance at a strong postseason outing.
Seattle Mariners have the worst offense in baseball
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s still very early. But Seattle has been awful.
Mariners outfielder Jarrod Dyson recently spoke about the “bad week” the team has had.
A 1-6 start is certainly something to be frowned upon, but Dyson maintains a sense of positivity when he recently spoke to The Olympian.
“We’ve got pitching. We’ve got guys who can play (defense), and we’ve got guys who are going to swing the bat. When you’ve got three proven veterans in the middle of your lineup, it makes everyone much tougher to pitch to. And we’ve got speed at the top and the bottom.”
That’s 100-percent correct. The team has everything they need to get the job done and be one of the best teams in the American League West. Heck, we predicted the Mariners to break through with a postseason berth this season
The names of Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura, and Robinson Cano certainly inspire confidence. With the newest additions of Danny Valencia and the young outfielder Mitch Haniger, all of the ingredients are there. Now it’s time to execute.
It’s way too soon to even think about the team being done with a season.
Even with the King more than likely regressing this time around, the Mariners still remain a sleeper team that can easily make an impact on their division. Don’t be surprised if they still make their way to winning the A.L. West.
Miguel Cabrera is “washed up”
It’s hard to believe anyone would tweet something out like this or even think it, but that’s what is happening.
Miguel Cabrera kinda sucks now
— Randy (@Randyjewell4) April 8, 2017
A former Triple Crown winner and the recipient of 11 All-Star roster spots over his 15-year career is not something to be ashamed of. But memories are short, and people are saying Cabrera has lost his mojo.
The soon-to-be 34-year-old is signed through 2023 with the Detroit Tigers, so he isn’t exactly expected to hang up his cleats in the near future. Still, his age is certainly a factor as to why his numbers have declined. He’s not necessarily striking out a lot, but in 21 plate appearances so far, he’s only sporting a .118 batting average, and that could be a cause for concern.
Yes, he will eventually decline, and it might appear his decline is more abrupt than the slower-type of situation others have dealt with. When it comes to Miggy, the power is still there. He’s not washed up. We are just catching him at a bad time.