MLB Week in Review (March 29-April 5)

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The first week of the season has come and gone and like every first week, the initial answers to some of the burning questions were seen.

Nothing has been solved and nothing will be solved for months but the start of everything is now past and first looks at the mysteries of the season took over.

Everyone wondered how good the Yankees were going to be with the two most powerful hitters in baseball.

Judge got his first home run late in the week while Giancarlo Stanton was booed by his own fans but also put up three home runs in the first week including a home run in his first at-bat.

There is no clear indication of how good these two will be together but at times it has looked scary.

The baseball world was watching South Beach as well wondering just how bad the team could be after trading everyone.

They certainly haven’t shown much promise sitting near the bottom of the league after a week but there is a lot of time for everyone to see how they can do the rest of the way.

A new era in baseball continues as more home runs are being hit than ever before while the pace of play rules are still being felt out.

Teams have launched their first attempt at getting ahead of the curve when it comes to the marathon that is the MLB season and others have stumbled out of the gate.

The biggest mystery before the season though was the legend that was coming out of Japan as the next Japanese star.

It has become pretty routine that every year another star from Japan or Cuba will be making their way to the MLB.

It leads to a bidding war and a big announcement about where they are going and what type of impact they might have.

This time was different though and it was different for a lot of reasons including the new rules that teams were required to play by heading into the off-season.

The MLB passed a rule that limited the pay for international signings meaning that the richest teams couldn’t just overpay for these stars, instead the stars could choose based on fit with everyone paying the same amount.

The biggest difference this time was that the player everyone wanted was Shohei Ohtani who had become known as the Japanese Babe Ruth.

He was a major league pitching prospect while also being a star at the plate in the Nippon League.

Both hitting and pitching with impressive numbers that would make him a legitimate prospect for the MLB with just one aspect of the game.

There were a lot of questions when he decided to head to the MLB with no player in decades playing both sides of the ball.

With the controlled nature of the league, it was a mystery as to whether or not any team would actually let him play both sides of the ball.

The Angels clearly promised to let him do both and with the designated hitter position, Ohtani decided that they were the best fit.baseball-sidebar

In Spring Training the experiment did not go very well as he was lit up on the mound and struggled against major league pitching.

Things seemed like they were simply not going to work out and most likely that would have sent him to the mound permanently and possibly considered a massive bust.

Then the regular season started and Ohtani took the mound and struck out six batters earning a 4.50 ERA and his first MLB win.

It was a good performance for his first time in the MLB and things were beginning to look up but the other big mystery was still to come.

How would he do when he got to face some of the best pitching in the world as the designated hitter.

He proved that he could hit major league pitching in his first game when he hit his first home run of the season.

He followed that up with another home run in his second game at DH and after three games has a .429 average with two home runs, five RBIs and an OPS of 1.286.

There is a lot of time left in this season and Ohtani still has to get through that adjustment that has hurt so many Japanese players.

The talent is non-stop in the MLB and the length of the season is entirely different leaving many of the former stars in the Nippon League fading by the end of the year.

Whether Ohtani will do that or not remains to be seen as there is a lot of time left for that to happen.

It also might not happen and Ohtani could emerge as a legitimate star and the first person in decades to be successful on the mound and at the plate.

With only one week gone there is a chance that Ohtani could earn his nickname as the Japanese Babe Ruth.

Extra Innings

Another Impressive Debut

Tim Tebow remains a big story as the former football star is continuing his rise through the ranks of the long and winding road that is the minor leagues. Last year he started at Low-A and ended the season in High-A. This year the Mets are showing some faith starting him in Double-A and seeing what he can do throughout the year. He made an impression right away after hitting a home run in his first at-bat of the season, which was a repeat of the year before when he did the same thing at Low-A.

Keeping their Man

The 2018 off-season was shaping up to be one of the most interesting in a very long time with some of the biggest names in the game becoming free agents. The free agent pool was going to be one of the biggest bidding wars in ever but that free agent pool lost one big name. Charlie Blackmon made a name for himself in 2017 as one of the best hitters in the game helping lead the Rockies to the postseason. This week the Rockies made sure that they didn’t let him think of leaving signing Blackmon to a 6-year contract extension.

Wrecking Havoc

Weather delays are not new in the MLB as the majority of games are played outside in the middle of a time when thunder and lightning are a common occurrence. This early in the season though the weather delays are slightly different and they are getting worse. The entire week was filled with multiple games having to be postponed due to the weather. In New York, the home opener was delayed thanks to a snowstorm that covered the field and that has not been a rare sight as snow has affected multiple games this year.

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