BOATLOAD OF LONG TIME NATIONAL LEAGUE STARS AND SOME YOUNG UP AND COMING STARS ALL MISSING IN ACTION TO START 2018 SEASON!
When teams start new seasons, they usually count on the old timers and guys who have put up solid numbers for years to at least get off to a decent start. Now over 3 weeks into the season and some former All Stars and Playoff Stars as well have simply been “No Shows” to start this new campaign.
If you just look in the Standings, one of the teams coming off a great season and coming in with some very high expectations, the Minnesota Twins, you will see a team in first place with (8-6) record. You will also see team with least amount of games played, as bad weather has hit many teams so far, but none more so then the Twinkies. The Twins were hoping this was the season young stud Byron Buxton would put together a complete season hitting, to add to his outstanding OF play. It’s not happened, as he’s cold as Ice at the plate so far, hitting only (.195) with 0 homers and only 2 RBI’s, and now to make matters worse, he’s on the DL due to migraine headaches.
Next you look at the Twins off season pickup of 1B Logan Morrison, a big power bat they hoped could add to compliment 2B Dozier and 3B Sano. So far he’s been a complete dud, hitting only (.083) and providing just 1 homer and 3 RBI’s. Sano has also started ice cold, as he’s back to his bad habits swinging at bad pitches, with 28 K’s and (.214) average. The Twins also added Catcher Jason Castro in the offseason, but he as well is ice cold, hitting only (.150) with 1 Homer/1 RBI (6 hits) so far. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt so far due to so many games called off due to bad weather. Luckily old man Joe Mauer is off to a scorching start, helping ease the downside of nearly half it’s lineup so far.
Two guys the St. Louis Cards were counting on were always reliable Matt Carpenter and highly paid OF Dexter Fowler to contribute in a big way. So far both severely struggling at the plate. Fowler is hitting (.181) and Carpenter shockingly has (21) K’s and is hitting only (.182). I’m less worried about Carpenter but he’s looked as bad at the plate as I’ve ever seen him look.
The Phillies, in a rebuilding mode, added 1B Carlos Santana, but so far, no return on it’s investment. He’s hitting a paltry (.159) with only 6 extra base hits. Over in San Fran Land, the Giants traded for two former elite All Stars and Veterans to fill the voids of some horrific hitting last year. They added OF Andrew McCutchen and 3B Evan Longoria and so far, no return on investment there either. Cutch is hitting just (.213) with (17) K’s and Longoria (.231) with (20) K’s. Add in OF Hunter Pence awful start, and not shocking that Giants off to another brutal start. Cutch did start slow last year, then really took off once the weather heated up. The Giants are praying that happens again as this Offense needs more production to compete in the very tough NL West.
A few old timers and one young stud who is like a box of chocolate, you never know what your gonna get. That would be Dodgers OF Yasiel Puig. He has all the talent, but most days he’s more in La La land then MLB mode land. He’s hitting (.217) with no homers and only 6 RBI’s so far, and one of many Dodgers stars slumping out the gate. The other two guys are Mets Y. Cespedes and Nats Zimmerman. Cespedes, always a wild swinger, is swinging at almost everything thrown his way, hitting only (.208) and striking out a league high (by far too) 34 times. Zimmerman is hitting only (.182) as injuries and now age seemingly taking a huge toll on his once elite talent at the plate.
It’s still very early in the MLB season, but Nats (10-10), Dodgers (8-10) and Giants (8-11) all can’t keep struggling with the Mets, D’Backs and even the young Braves and Phillies clubs off to nice starts. If anyone can find these ice cold players old bats, please send the bats to them IMMEDIATELY.
Las Vegas Handicapper Gary Greene
*Gary Greene is a longtime and very respected Professional Sports Bettor and Sports Handicapper in Las Vegas for over 3 decades, as well as a long time Sports writer and Radio and TV Personality.