The MLB season is now fully under way. We have a full week in the books and as usual, a number of small market teams are making noise while some of the usual giants are still slumbering. It remains to be seen if this is an anomaly or a sign of changing times, but regardless, it is all the fun of opening week.
- Picked as part of my 2012 All-Breakout Team, Astros outfielder JD Martinez is off to a solid start in Houston. No longer a rookie, Martinez is enjoying starting the season as the Astros starting left-fielder. On Friday, he hit the first home run in Marlins Park history, one of his 3 to start the season. Overall, he’s batting .385 on the young season, with 8 RBI and a 1.198 OPS.
- - The Washington Nationals are off to a tremendous start to the season. They lead the National League East with a 6-2 record. The Nationals also lead all of baseball with a team ERA of 1.80 and opposing teams are batting just .180 against Washington’s pitching staff. The ERA mark is more than a run lower than the next closest staff, the Toronto Blue Jays.
- - Oh, and for those wondering is Stephen Strasburg would start the season like he pitched in limited duty last season, he’s surrendered just 1 earned run in 13 innings pitched and struck out 14 in his first two starts. Strasburg is the real deal.
- - It is good to see Mark Reynolds of the Baltimore Orioles in mid-season form. The 3rd baseman is hitting just .143 to start the season and has struck out 10 times in just 21 plate appearance, all without a walk. For their part, the Orioles are said to be installing a windmill in center field to generate alternative energy from all those swings and misses.
- - Bartolo Colon made a huge comeback with the New York Yankees in 2011. Yet the Yankees wanted to upgrade their staff, did not resign the former Cy Young award winner. So Colon signed with Oakland in the offseason and has kept the good times rolling. While not stellar, he is 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA for the A’s. The former power-pitcher has become more of an artist, walking just two batters across his three starts on the season.
- - Colon isn’t the only Athletics player making noise. Cuban refugee Yoenis Cespedes has gotten a lot of publicity for his 3 home runs to start his major league career. However, he is also pacing Major League Baseball with 13 strike-outs. No one doubt Cespedes ability to hit pitching at the major league level, but the strike-outs are proof that the he is still struggling to adapt what is obviously better pitching than he saw in the Cuban leagues.
- - He may not be wearing sunglasses at night, but Corey Hart is probably the coolest guy in baseball right now. The right fielder has helped the Brewers forget about Prince Fielder thus far in 2012, leading Major League Baseball with 4 home runs, a 1.000 slugging percentage, and a 1.481 OPS. As a matter of fact, 6 of his 8 hits on the young season have gone for extra bases. The Brewers will need him to keep raking if they are to continue to contend in the strong NL Central.