MLB Week in Review (May 29-June 4)

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The MLB season has made its way through two months and plenty of patterns are emerging as the first quarter of the season is finished.

The Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins have surprised everyone with their performances while the Kansas City Royals have been better than many thought.

The Royals have proven that their run through the 2014 postseason was more than just a fluke.

All three of these teams will go through the next few months looking to extend their great seasons and hoping that they can enter the postseason race at the halfway point and beyond.

The teams are not the only things impressing this year though as a new crop of rookies have risen through the rankings fast and become some of the building blocks for teams.

They have become essential to their teams and for some it has proven to be a winning strategy while others struggle to find anyone else to fill in the holes around these rookies.

Still whether they are on a winning team or a losing team they are all fighting for the same award as they look to be the next rookie of the year.

Of course the MLB season is a marathon not a sprint and despite their good starts the hard work is ahead.

Some have been up the entire season while others are only making their appearances now.

At some point in the season they will all hit the rookie wall where they see what it is like in the grind of the MLB.

The seasons in minor league baseball are nowhere near as demanding as the MLB with shorter seasons and less games.

162 games in a season with very few breaks can sometimes run down younger players who have to travel far beyond where they have before and go all out for much longer just to stay in the major leagues it can be a grind.

Veterans are used to the grind and they have found ways to break up the monotony of the marathon.

The rookies can have a harder time and when it gets hard they hit a wall that can hurt their strong starts to the season and hurt their production.

baseball-sidebarIt is the challenge of every rookie in the MLB but there are a few rookies that just might be able to find their way through if they fulfill their potential.

There has already been plenty of talk surrounding one of these rookies as Kris Bryant has given new hope to the Chicago Cubs.

Throughout Spring Training he was far and above everyone else and although the Cubs kept him in the minors, mainly for contract reasons, at the start of the season he has proven to be all he was promised to be. Through this week he was batting .272 with 7 home runs and 33 RBIs, the most RBIs out of all rookies this year.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have two rookies that could be fighting for the award this year. Alex Guerrero is hitting .297 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs while Joc Pederson his hitting .267 with 17 home runs and 32 RBIs.

There will also be entrants from Arizona where Cuban star Yasmany Tomas has hit .331 with 1 home run and 20 RBIs and the rehabbing Jake Lamb who hit .414 with 1 home run and 9 RBIs in his ten games before injuring his foot.

There is a new entrant though who was just called up this week and made a big impression.

Joey Gallo was the player that the Texas Rangers were hoping could make a difference when they eventually brought him up and he did just that right off the bat. In his first few games he has hit .417 with 2 home runs and has 5 RBIs.

It is an impressive tart to a career and he hopes to keep it up throughout the rest of the season.

It won’t be easy as he has a lot more baseball to play and his average will stay nowhere near where he is right now.

If he only slides slightly though he may be in the fight for the rookie of the year. The good thing for Gallo is that he won’t have to compete with Bryant as both Bryant and Gallo could find their way to the rookie of the year in their respective leagues.

It is an interesting battle to look at though as rookies try to make a bigger impact this year and so far after the first quarter they are doing just that.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Trumbo to the West Coast
The Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks struck a big deal that both teams hope change their hopes this year with Mark Trumbo and Vidal Nuno headed to Seattle for Welington Castillo, Dominic Leone, and prospects Gabby Guerrero and Jack Reinheimer

Return of Hamilton
It has been a long time since Josh Hamilton stepped onto the field in Texas as a hometown favourite but he did just that this week and so far his return has been a good one as his return to Texas has shown to be a good move after a rough offseason

One way to Argue
New commissioner Rob Manfred is not about to add the designated hitter to the National League and his argument seems to centre around Bartolo Colon saying that the NL DH will deprive fans of watching Colon hit

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Key Series:
Kansas City Royals 1 – 1 Chicago Cubs
– It was a matchup of the two teams most people were watching this year and after one game was postponed the two teams split the remaining two games of the series in an even matchup between two of the more interesting teams this year

Texas Rangers 3 – 0 Boston Red Sox
– The return of Josh Hamilton was a big boost for the Texas fans and for the Rangers themselves as they swept the Red Sox with Hamilton hitting a home run in his first game back from injury and his first game back in Texas after being traded from Los Angeles

New York Yankees 3 – 0 Seattle Mariners
– The Yankees went to see their former All-Star in Seattle and showed what Robinson Cano was missing out on as they got past the struggling Mariners in a three-game sweep of a battle of two coasts

Oakland Athletics 3 – 0 Detroit Tigers
– The Detroit Tigers continue to try to keep up the with the Royals in the Central but they couldn’t get anything in this series as the Athletics swept the Tigers and tried to get back into the fight in the West

Upcoming Series:
Houston Astros vs. Toronto Blue Jays [June 5/6/7]
– The last time these two teams faced off the Blue Jays were swept and their high hopes at the start of the season seemed to come crashing down against a team that had proven the proper rebuild and the Astros look to do the same this time around

Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox [June 5/6/7]
– The Tigers and White Sox have long fought for the Central Division but this year a new contender has put themselves first while the Tigers are fighting for second and the White Sox are stuck in the basement as they face off looking to get into the fight for the division again

Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins [June 8/9/10]
– The Royals and Twins were not supposed to be this high in the standings this year as but that hasn’t stopped either of them from rising up the ranks and now they face off looking to be the better of the two surprises this year

Washington Nationals vs. New York Yankees [June 9/10]
– The battle of the Eastern teams will only be a short series but both the Nationals and the Yankees are looking to gain an advantage as they hope to keep their hold of the East division in either league

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