Opening Day Musings.

Good Morning all, and welcome to another day.  I’m sure the blog world is overloaded with talks about today, so I’ll keep my thoughts brief.

Three things I’m looking forward to:

1) Harrison Bader.

Watching this kid play center field is amazing. I know the bat is still developing, but I love having him out there. I’ve always been fans of guys like Kevin Kiermaier or Kevin Pillar, or even Billy Hamilton, a CF with great range who can make showstopping plays, and I love that we now have one of our own. I hope he hits well enough to be out their every day, because I want to watch all the highlight reel plays he’d make being out there daily.

2) Jordan Hicks

This is more a case of “do we have an arm waiting to explode after too many heaters, or do we have a bionic arm that can throw 5 million heaters and not fall off, like Aroldis Chapman?” I love the heat, don’t get me wrong, but every 100 MPH fastball this kid throws makes me twinge just a little bit, as I’m waiting for his arm to get sore after one outing and not get better. Guys with heat like this always excite me and scare me at the same time. Providing he stays healthy, I’ll be looking forward to the highlights of him starting his motion, the ball suddenly appearing in Yadier Molina’s mitt and the batter with “Where did that ball come from?” look on his face.

3) Dakota Hudson

Really this kid could fall into either category. He had a good ERA last year to go with a 4-1 record, but he also only had one more strikeout than he did walks (19 to 18) and a high WHIP at 1.354. Was he lucky? Was he that mythical “clutch” pitcher that got outs when he needed them? With Carlos Martinez on the IL to start the season, we’re about to find out. The kid is talented though, so if he does rein in those walks, we could have something special.

Three Question Marks

1) Miles Mikolas Extension.

Was he legit or was he a fluke? When the extension was announced, that was the first thought that ran through my mind. Time to find out.

2) Alex Reyes’ Health

Will this be the year he joins the big league team and stays there for the entire season? He’s starting the season in the bullpen, and I know there are going to be workload restrictions, but this is a case of “I’ll believe in when I see it” in regards to him being healthy for an entire season. I hope he is, as he is a super talented kid with a ton of potential, and I want to see him reach that potential.

3) Matt Carpenter’s Power

Carp, as you know, whacked 36 homers last year. I’ve read articles on ESPN and elsewhere that say this was a fluke, but was it? He’s hit over 20 homers the past 4 seasons, with 28 in 2015 being his previous career high, not far off from 30. While I’m not sure he’ll hit 36 again, I do think he can and will hit 30 or more long balls again.

It’s going to an exciting season folks, and I can’t wait for it to start!

 

As always, thanks for reading

 

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NL Central Standings

TeamWLPct.GB
Cubs6858.540 -
Cardinals6758.5360.5
Brewers6562.5123.5
Reds6066.4768.0
Pirates5274.41316.0

Last updated: 08/22/2019

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