The first official weekend of the 2018 regular season just passed us. We can all finally stop holding our breath. The season is indeed in its infancy and player performances should be taken logically. Averages are out of whack because some players are late bloomers during the long season. New teams need to rebuild or reconfigure team chemistry. Also, new managers are starting to figure out their systems as they go. However, there are a few notes from this weekend that can carry weight for the season’s entirety.
Xander Bogaerts is Back
The beloved short stop for the Red Sox seems to be already playing in mid-season form both on the field and in the box. Not only has he tormented Rays pitching, but also made some pivotal defensive plays. The double up on Mallex Smith in the 9th inning, which led to Kimbrel shutting the door completely on Denard Span for the final out of the game is one of these examples.
Thus, Bogaerts is really on the right track to get moved up in the lineup and most likely take Hanley’s spot in the 3 hole. He has a majority of at bats as a 3rd hitter in his career with a .315 batting average and a .819 OPS. Besides, Bogaerts batting third means he could see more at bats, which means a more productive lineup. I know some of you may be thinking this analysis is too early, but jump on the X train now or stay off forever. The bottom line is Red Sox baseball is better when Xander is playing great.
Yankees fans were already in trash talking mid-season form come last Thursday. As I’ve said before, this twoteam division race is going to be jam-packed with banter from both fan bases. All this means is there will be a more exciting game watching experience. This is a proper gauge for how each team’s talent stacks up against baseball’s best. The Yankees and Red Sox seem to now be at a peak in regards to team talent in the last five years. To see how these clubs perform under the spotlight, against serious talent fighting for two of the best fanbases in baseball is great. This season could jump-start a rivalry that has been in need of resuscitation in recent years, and I am extremely excited for that. Baseball is 1000 times better when the Sox and Yankees are good and fighting for a championship.
O Captain, My Captain!
After Saturday’s game, Alex Cora mentioned that Dustin Pedroia will be taking ground balls on grass in Miami. He has been going through his run progression for the last two weeks. Depending on how good Eduardo Nunez is playing at second base, Cora should really take his time getting Pedroia back to full speed. The 34 year old isn’t getting any younger, and the season is still only five days old as of now. There is no rush to get him back into the lineup.
- Red Sox starters have given up only 2 earned run in 23.3 innings pitched.
- Christian Vazquez still thinks he’s the fastest runner on the team.
- Brock Holt is on the 48 hour DL for chapped lips.
- David Price is proving all of his haters wrong. I love it and so should you.
Featured Photo: (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)