Tuesday, May 31, 2016

This Week In The Show 5.31.16 #MLB

By Alex Hale, @DaSportsGenius7

As I’ve said since the beginning of the year, the MLB Regular Season is one big 6 month roller coaster.  Only a few weeks ago we were praising the Chicago White Sox starting rotation and then the Cleveland Indians started to bring them down to earth.  Injuries are plaguing multiple teams, yet somehow most of those teams are weathering the storm.  Plus come on we ALL had the Minnesota Twins somehow fighting the Atlanta Braves for the worst record in baseball.  Every time I come back to write these for everyone to recap the past few weeks, it never ceases to amaze me the unpredictability of this game.  Well once again let’s go over my biggest observations over the past few weeks in the MLB Season.

Royal Pains- For the defending World Champions, the Kansas City Royals were considered by many that as long as they were healthy, they would compete for a chance to repeat as World Champions.  While as it stands the Royals are in 1st Place in the AL Central, it has come at a cost.  Over the past few weeks the Royals lost 2 cornerstone players in Mike Moustakas (Torn ACL) and Alex Gordon (Fractured Wrist).  They barely escaped another major injury in Salvador Perez who only has a bruised left thigh.  As talented as the Royals are, they’re potentially one major injury away from their chance to defend their title going away completely.

My thoughts- As it stands, Eric Hosmer has been the entire offense for the Royals.  With Kendrys Morales having a rough season so far, they need others to step up to offset their losses offensively.  While their bullpen has been as advertised and the rotation has been solid, my major question is how much of that magic from last year they had is still there?

The Trade Winds Are Blowing- While a bit early for Trade Deadline talk, that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from swirling over the past week.  According to multiple sources, the Chicago White Sox have already spoken to the San Diego Padres about SP James Shields.  Although there’s been “significant” talks about this deal, I think it won’t happen until after the trade deadline.  With teams like San Diego, Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Atlanta pretty much out of it, teams normally check out the market to see who’s interested.  With how historically bad Atlanta and Minnesota have been playing, plus San Diego wanting to cut bad contracts, it seems already this Trade Deadline could have multiple blockbusters.

My thoughts- Names I’ve heard that might be available are OFs Matt Kemp, Nick Markakis, and Ender Inciarte.  On top of James Shields, I think the Padres could move Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross.  Add to that the onslaught of trades Atlanta has made over recent years, I think any trade possible is on the table.

Houston We Have a Problem- For a team that was my personal World Series pick, the Astros have not lived up to their full potential this year.  Carlos Correa is going through a sophomore jinx so far and really only Jose Altuve is hitting consistently for them.  On top of that Dallas Kuechel has fallen off completely after winning the Cy Young award last year.  Plus we all had the Astros big trade acquisition CP Ken Giles being a total bust and Luke Gregerson to still be their closer now.  Something needs to be done to the Astros to wake this team up as the Mariners are currently in 1st and the Rangers are set to finally welcome back SP Yu Darvish and to finally pair him with Cole Hamels.  I do repeat… HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

My thoughts- I honestly don’t understand this other than teams figured them out.  The Astros have all the talent offensively you could want, a solid rotation with the defending Cy Young winner and a very good bullpen (outside of Giles).  If I’m the Astros I start looking at potential trade options for another starter because I feel the hitting will come around, the starters need help right now.

Who’s Philadelphia Taking #1 Overall?- Okay I know, nobody cares for the MLB Draft, but this is where teams can turn a 5 year rebuild into a 3 year rebuild.  With the Phillies surprising most of the baseball world with a 26-24 record (as of 5/30), the Phillies are only a few weeks away from being on the clock.  In this year’s draft, the top players in this class are Florida SP AJ Puk, HS SP Jason Groome, Tennessee 3B Nick Senzel and Mercer OF Kyle Lewis.  As it stands right now, it seems like Puk will be the #1 pick by the Phillies, but the feeling is that there is no lock on who the Phillies would take.

My thoughts- The top player in this draft is AJ Puk, a lefty starter who dominated LSU in the SEC Tournament.  He’s a front of the line starter and Philly doesn’t have a future star lefty pitcher.  Pair him potentially with Vince Velasquez, Aaron Nola, and Mike Appel (if he can turn it around), that’s a scary rotation there by pure talent and potential.  Only other player I’d consider if Kyle Lewis, but Puk is the pick.

From April to October, the MLB season is an odyssey unlike anything.  I mean what other sport do we see a team like the Yankees win a game after recording 1 HIT for the first time since 1913.  The Yankees hadn’t won their first World Series yet when this happened.  The Orioles struck out 52 times… IN A SERIES!  I know a lot of younger fans might think Baseball is a boring sport, but things like this that have happened almost every year, it’s just a matter of what historical accomplishment good or bad will happen next?  We’re 2 months into the baseball season and I’m starting to sense that something historical will happen when we reach the end of this road.  I’m excited and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next!

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