Alex Rodriguez lands on a symbolic home run total, top prospects make their debuts and the Cubs have a winning week. So much baseball this week, that you may have forgotten other sports even existed. Week 10 had no shortage of fun, so let’s recap:
Rodriguez Joins Elite Company
Thought to be mostly a sideshow coming into the season, Alex Rodriguez has been a big key to the first place Yankees’ success so far in the 2015 season. The 39-year-old third baseman has been hovering around .270 this year in terms of batting average, and currently owns a .384 on base percentage. On Saturday in Baltimore, Rodriguez became only the second player in history to drive in 2,000 runs, joining Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. In addition, Rodriguez is now just five hits away from gaining entrance into the 3,000 hit club. At this point, the anti-steroid/anti A-Rod crowd might be livid at the milestone accomplishments that one of the game’s most polarizing figures is enjoying. Take solace in the fact that Rodriguez currently sits at 666 home runs, though.
Buxton, Lindor Make Debuts
Another week, another series of big time prospect call-ups. This time, it was the American League Central drawing the story lines. Consensus top prospect Byron Buxton received the call up to Minnesota early Saturday afternoon, and scored the go ahead run in the top of the ninth in his debut. Buxton is known as a five-tool center fielder, and it seems like the only thing that could hold him back from stardom are nagging injuries that he has sustained over his several years of professional baseball. The other call up came out of Cleveland, where the Indians brought up their top prospect, Francisco Lindor. The 21-year-old shortstop is more of a defensive specialist than a threat at the plate, but pundits have confidence that Lindor will be a well above average hitter in time. Lindor made his debut Sunday against Detroit and recorded his first career hit, a single to right field. Each has the chance to be a franchise player, and each has the capability of taking the AL Rookie of the Year award at the season’s end.
Blue Jays Keep Winning
After adding Josh Donaldson and having a solid all around offseason, the Blue Jays were thought to be a contending team in the AL East. The season did not get off to a particularly solid start, but the team is in the midst of an impressive 11 game win streak. They most recently swept the Red Sox in Boston, after sweeping Miami and Houston. Next up for the Jays will be the Mets in a four game set that will be split between New York and Toronto. They Jays now sit just one game out of first. Unfortunately for them, the Rays and Yankees have each won seven out of ten, making it difficult for the Jays to drastically improve their division standing.
Rookie of the Year Races
Not much has been going well for the Red Sox this season. Even after massive additions to the lineup in the offseason, Boston is 10 games under .500 and dead last in the AL East. However, there does seem to be one bright spot: rookie starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. The numbers for Rodriguez, a 3.55 earned run average and 22 strikeouts over 25 innings, are impressive. Up until his last start, though, which came against the surging Blue Jays, Rodriguez had allowed just one run over 19 and two-thirds innings. A 22-year-old lefty, initial reports mostly stated that his first start several weeks ago in Boston was merely a tryout. Suffice to say, Rodriguez has earned his keep, and is making serious noise in an American League Rookie of the Year race that does not seem to have a clear front-runner yet. On the National League side of things, Dodgers’ third baseman Alex Guerrero is now second among NL rookies in home runs with 10. Joc Pederson still leads the way in that category, with Kris Bryant checking in third with seven. Bryant leads all qualified NL rookies in on base percentage at .407, and leads in hits with 57. He tops the charts in runs batted in and runs, as well, and is tied for second in stolen bases.
Cubs Win in Walk Off Fashion. Twice.
A series split with Detroit followed by taking three of four from Cincinnati, and it can be said that the Cubs had a very solid week. Starlin Castro walked off in two straight games against Cincinnati, allowing the Cubs to take three of four from their division rival. Along with a winning record, the Cubs had, what appears on paper, to be a strong draft, as they took Cincinnati star Ian Happ in the first round of the MLB Draft, and Donnie Dewees of North Florida in the second round. Brian Schlitter is back with the Major League squad, as well, which means the return of plays off of Schlitter’s last name every time he blows a save.
MVP of the Week: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins. 13 hits and five home runs since Monday; Giancarlo absolutely destroyed week 10. Stanton might be regretting signing long term in Miami, but they certainly aren’t feeling the same way in South Beach.