MLB News April 8: Reds Dominating, Litany Of Injuries, and Pair Of Infield Trades
It has been a tale of two starts for Ohio teams over the first week of the season. While one team sits atop their division in the Reds, the Indians have struggled mightily against the likes of the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals.
Still, the season has only just begun, and optimism remains high for both of the teams from the Buckeye State.
With so much focus on the games on the field, let’s take a look at some of the other news from around the league.
Reds Dominating, And They Want People To Know It
One of the most intriguing teams after the first week of the season has been the Cincinnati Reds. At 5-1, they currently lead the N.L. Central, and their impressive start has only been matched by their confidence.
Amir Garrett put it best in an interview when he said, “I want everybody to think that the Cincinnati Reds is like the most cockiest team ever. We’re some bat flipping, showboating son of a guns. I want everybody to know that.”
Their confidence has been well earned early in the season. They currently lead the majors in scoring averaging 9.20 runs per game.
Outfielders Nick Castellanos and Tyler Naquin lead the way. They both have four home runs on the season, and Naquin has thirteen runs batted in while Castellanos has seven.
Speaking of Castellanos, he showed that he wasn’t backing down to anyone last Saturday when he was ejected from the Reds’ game against the Cardinals after flexing on opposing pitcher Jake Woodford.
After being hit by a pitch, Castellanos came around and scored on a wild pitch. After a brief collision at the plate, he flexed while standing over Woodford. While the Cardinals did not appreciate the gesture, it fits in with the mindset that the Reds have taken early on.
The bench-clearing incident led to a two-game suspension for Castellanos (one that he is appealing), but it once again showed that this is a team to be reckoned with this year.
The Reds are currently +270 to win the N.L. Central, tied with the Brewers for best odds behind the Cardinals. If this week has shown anything, they may be a good value bet.
Litany Of Injuries Early On
Elsewhere around the league, the injury bug has hit teams early on. There have been a litany of injuries, and injury list designations, over the course of the first week.
Thus far, Fernando Tatis Jr. (shoulder), Tim Anderson (hamstring), James Paxton (left forearm strain), Joakim Soria (left calf strain), Kevin Kiermaier (left quadriceps strain), and Elieser Hernandez (right biceps) have all hit the injured list over the course of the first week.
Additionally, Ketel Marte left his game Wednesday with a leg injury, George Springer had an MRI on his quad, Trevor Rosenthal could be in store for thoracic outlet surgery, Mike Soroka is being sidelined due to shoulder inflammation, and Aaron Judge sat out on Wednesday due issues with his left side.
Needless to say, the early portion of the season has brought a lot of injuries and as teams prepare for the grind of a 162-game schedule, taking care of players is more crucial than ever.
Pair Of Infield Trades
Usually, the first week of the season is not a time where many trades are consummated. This year, though, the first week has seen two trades involving notable players.
First, the Texas Rangers traded infielder Roughned Odor to the New York Yankees in exchange for Josh Stowers and Antonio Cabello, both outfielders.
Last season, Odor hit just .167/.209/.413 with ten home runs and 30 runs batted in, but the lefty hitter has clubbed at least 30 home runs three times in his career.
The other trade involved infielder Orlando Arcia going from the Brewers to the Braves. Once seen as the future shortstop of Milwaukee, Arcia fell out of favor and will likely take on the role of a utilityman with Atlanta.
Last season, in 173 at bats, Arcia hit .260/.317/.416 with five home runs.
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