How was your week

Posted: April 3, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We’re two days into the Major League Baseball season; so it’s a way, way too early to start to worry about how your favorite team started off the season. Now of course there are people who do that and to be fair there are some good and bad in the first couple of days, but it’s so, so early in the season let’s just stick with the good.

Now I had multiple fantasy baseball drafts and as I’ve mentioned the drafts we have linked to the Sports Time Radio podcast have 20 in each of them. Now in none of the leagues I’m in did I see anyone pick Yermin Mercedes of the Chicago White Sox. Now I can understand why no one including myself selected Mercedes in their fantasy drafts. He’s the White Sox third string catcher and it was unclear how much playing time he’d actually get. Well he got his start start at the major league level last night for the White Sox as their Designated Hitter. So how did Mercedes do; well he became the first player in the modern era of baseball to go 5 for 5 in his first career start.

Now the last player to get 5 hits in his first career start was Cecil Travis of the Washington Senators who went 5 for 7 in his first career start in 1933. Before Travis you have to go back to 1894 to find another player who picked up 5 hits in their first career start. Fred Clarke of the Louisville Colonels was the player who accomplished that feat in 1894.

Mercedes had singles in the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th innings before ending his 5 hit night with a two run double in the 9th inning. Mercedes also drove in two runs with his first hit of the game; so not only did he go 5 for 5 he also drove in four runs in the White Sox 12-8 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Mercedes started his career with the Washington Nationals in 2011, but after three seasons in their minor league system where he never played above their Dominican Summer League he was let go. Mercedes then spent three years playing in Independent league and the Dominican Winter League before being signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. As Mercedes was making his way through the Orioles minor league system where he made it as high as Double-A he was left unprotected and the White Sox selected him as a Rule-5 pick. Now Mercedes actually made his major league debut last season, but he only got one at bat at the big league level; so it was a little bigger platform for him last night.

Now it is odd in this day and age for a major league team to carry three catcher, but with the White Sox being in the American League they do have that DH spot they can use for an extra spot. You also have to wonder if Eloy Jimenez hadn’t suffered the injury he did if the White Sox would’ve kept Mercedes on the roster or if he’d be catching at the alternative training site instead.

Luckily after the unfortunate injury to Jimenez the White Sox made the decision to keep Mercedes on the big club and while I don’t think anyone expects Mercedes to continue to produce like he did last night it is good story to start off the Major League Baseball season.

Now the other item I really liked from these first couple of days of the baseball season is the fact that the first home run of the season was hit by Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera’s team the Detroit Tigers where facing the Cleveland Indians who where starting 2020 Cy Young award winner Shane Bieber on opening day. Since the Tigers are in rebuilding mode and they where facing a pitcher who was dominant last season in Bieber it looked like Detroit would start the season off 0-1. Well in baseball things don’t always go as planned.

After the Indians didn’t score in the Top of the 1st inning Bieber took the mound to face the Tigers line up. Robbie Grossman lined out to left field for the first out of the inning. Jeimer Candelario singled to left field for the Tigers first hit of the 2021 season. Bieber then recorded his first strikeout of the season by getting Willi Castro swinging for the second out of the inning. That brought up Cabrera. Now the fan fair isn’t quite what it was for Cabrera since he’s had some down years, but he’s still a future Hall of Famer. Cabrera took the first two pitches in his at bat; one for a ball and one for a strike. The third pitch of the at bat was a fastball that Cabrera hit through the snowflakes just far enough to get over the right field wall or a two run homer.

Humorously with it snowing Cabrera didn’t see the ball go over the wall and as it bounced back into play after hitting off a rail Cabrera slide into 2nd base not knowing he had just hit a home run.

Cabrera’s home run gave the Tigers an early 2-0 lead and Detroit went on to win their season opener 3-2 over the Indians.

I’d be interested to know what you enjoyed from the first couple days of the Major League Baseball season.

I hope you’re listening to the Sports Time Radio podcast. It airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Comments
  1. It’s way to early to make any kind of logical analysis about the 2021 baseball campaign.
    Hey, maybe Mercedes will never make an out! (Think of Tuffy Rhodes, Bob Speake and other Chicago area baseball “phenoms” and how did their MLB careers turn out after a great start? So don’t get overly excited about what the 28 year old rookie did last night. There has to be a reason he’s been in the minor leagues for over 10 years.

    Like

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