Every Sunday, we're going to try to post a general rundown (pickle - get it???) of the week in baseball. It's basically a clearinghouse of our thoughts from what we've seen and read. Ambitious, we know. Let's get to it!
Players of the Week
Jordan Schafer, CF, Braves. Schafer won the starting center field job in Spring Training, and hasn't looked back. In his first week with the club, as of this writing, he's hitting .421/.500/.842 with 2 dongers and 3 walks. He's reached base in each of the 5 games he's played in his young career, and while he's flashing more power than he probably possesses, he's giving Braves fans a lot to be excited for.
Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals. Pujols being Pujols: .429/.538/.905 with a trio each of bombs (including a grand salami yesterday) and free passes, plus he's plated 9 men. 81 homers and 291 RBI for the sweet swingin' slugger? We're not saying we'd bet on it...unless we could get, like, 6:1 odds.
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B, Marlins. It was between Emilio and Evan Longoria for the final spot; we decided to give it to Emilio because, well, he's Emilio Bonifacio. We don't expect to see him much in this section as the season goes on. He's gotten off to a hot start, to the tune of .583/.600/.833, with 4 steals and a tater tot. We don't think he even posted numbers like that in Little League.
Tim Lincecum, SP, Giants. Another name we don't often expect to see on this list, Lincecum was pulled after 78 pitches in 3 difficult innings. He's got a chance to atone tonight, but this blog waits for no man, Timmy. We're just hoping you're healthy.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies. .133/.200/.133 for the leadoff man on the defending champs? For shame, James. Also, Rollins has yet to reach base in a game where the Phils score less than 8 runs. Coincidence? We think so!
Cliff Lee, SP, Indians. Lee's made two starts thusfar, and he's looked a lot more like someone who should be sent down than someone who is a Cy Young winner. He did K 10 in his 10 innings, reflecting the increased strikeout total he showed off in Spring Training, but he also walked 5. That's decent enough for a great strikeout guy, but Lee's never been that, and last year the principal reason for his success was his absurd 5:1 K:BB ratio. We'd be less worried about Lee if he didn't get destroyed in Spring Training, posting an ERA of almost 13.00. Mmm...smells like Russ Ortiz, vintage 2006.
Series to Watch:
NL: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs
Cardinals-Cubs is probably our favorite baseball rivalry, and we're excited for this early-season rendition of it. Howevah, if the MLB.com probables are to be believed, there won't be any sweet, sweet Harden-Pujols action. Is that the dirtiest combo of player names in baseball? It's gotta be up there, right?
AL: New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays
An AL East showdown..whaddya know. At some point, these clashes of titans are going to get boring and repetitive, but for now, let's act like cheerful lil baseball fans and be excited that two of the game's best are going at it.