With week 1 in baseball complete, Braves Blast takes "a quick trip down the roster" summarizing the player's contributions (or lack of contribution) through Atlanta's first two series against Chicago and San Diego.
If the Braves are clicking on all cylinders, they are a team to watch out for, but so far only a few players have enjoyed some early success. Melky Cabrera and Nate McLouth are still batting well below .200 but don't expect that to last, with a breakout week they can put all that talk to rest. Atlanta could be the dark horse pick to win the wild card this year with their incredible young talent, the thing is, their young talent has no meaningful September/October baseball experience and with Philadelphia in the same division it is hard to imagine them making any noise in the playoffs. That being said, wherever the Braves end up at the end of the season will not surprise me, whether it be the wild card champion or in the cellar of the division.
The Marlins bullpen struggles continued in a series against the Reds. Meanwhile, Jorge Cantu, the unlikeliest of candidates, is rewriting the history books with his incredible start to the 2010 season.
It is a manager's worst nightmare when they have to mix and match their team's bullpen trying to find anything that will work, especially this early in the season. To be fair, Florida's starting pitching hasn't been all that impressive either, as they are having difficulty going deep into games, putting even more responsibility on a terrible bullpen. Enough with the negatives, its time to recognize Jorge Cantu for becoming the first player in Major League Baseball history to have at least one hit and one RBI in each of his teams first 9 games of the season. Very impressive indeed, but if he can manage to continue the streak through the teams weekend series against Philadelphia, which Roy Halladay is scheduled to pitch in, people will really start to take notice.
After another disastrous start for John Maine, his slot in the Mets starting rotation is in severe jeopardy.
There was a time when John Maine was a fan favorite and a somewhat reliable starting pitcher. Bursting onto the scene in 2006 and putting up a 15 win season in 2007, Maine has only seen his career spiral out of control. Injuries in 2008 and 2009 have set Maine back to the point where his Met career could be over sooner than expected. Tuesday night in Colorado, making his second start of the season, he looked completely lost. With little to no velocity on any of his pitches the Rockies essentially had an extended batting practice as they knocked Maine out after only 3 innings...3 innings in which he threw a whooping 75 pitches. Some have said that the reason for Maine's struggles (excluding the injuries) was when the Mets replacing pitching coach Rick Peterson with Dan Warthen. This argument makes sense considering Maine's best years came with Peterson in the dugout, but that doesn't mean I totally buy that idea. Maine was granted one more start to figure himself out, but expect him to be on a very short leash.
Phillies Nation plays doctor following the news that shortstop Jimmy Rollins has been placed on the 15 day DL.
Rollins is expected to be out 2-4 weeks with a strained right calf. I never know what to make of the timetables that are given to specific injuries, because as we saw with the Mets last year, something as simple as "day to day" could end up being a season ending injury. Even when Rollins does return I do not expect him to be playing at his full potential because as history has shown, these types of injuries linger, and he will likely favor that leg in certain situations. His replacement, veteran Juan Castro, obviously is a severe downgrade at the position. Castro is not a good hitter but is a solid utility man who has experience at shortstop, second and third base, logging over 1,000 innings at each position in his career.