April 8, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (58) in the dugout after he pitched the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Around the Majors
My gosh, does it feel good to have baseball back. I was glued to my phone this weekend while out doing errands and hanging with the family, checking on the scores and updates from around the league. While the Rays opened the season in dramatic fashion -- sweep, baby! -- it was made all the sweeter by the Tigers sweeping the Red Sox, blowing them out in game two and coming from behind to win game three (video). So even though it's incredibly early, the Rays have a three game lead over both the Yanks and Sox. I know that doesn't mean much this early in, but hey, I'll certainly take this over last season's start to the year.
In other baseball action, two players took no-hitters into the late innings yesterday. Jason Hammel lost his no-hitter in the eighth against the Twins (video), and Jonathan Niese lost his in the seventh (video). I was somewhat baffled by the Guthrie-Hammel trade this off-season, but this is a good early sign for the O's. If their pitching comes around, they could actually have a decent team.
The other big news this weekend is that the three players transitioning to third base this season -- Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, and Mark Trumbo -- have all looked rather foolish early on. Trumbo has flubbed a number of plays already, and Cabrera is apparently scared of the ball. Ramirez has probably looked the best of the three so far, but even he has had some misplays already. Which experiment will get cancelled first? My money is on Trumbo.
The one piece of bad news out of this weekend's series was that Luke Scott has a minor hamstring injury, which could keep him out 3-4 games. It doesn't sound like anything to be concerned about, but here's hoping it doesn't linger.
If you were listening to Saturday's game, you may have heard the radio guys going on at one point about how Price made a foolish choice by throwing a 3-2 change-up instead of using his best pitch -- his fastball. He "got beat" with his change-up, as the hitter slashed a hit and drove in a run, and Andy and Dave thought that was a poor decision. It turns out MGL was also listening, and he broke down why that logic doesn't work.
BurGi is back with his Minor League Breakdown series at Rays Prospects, where he analyzes how each of the Rays top prospects are doing based on their stats. It's certainly worth keeping an eye on those posts.
I don't know about you, but I love the way that the Rays have commemorated Game 162 at the Trop. The franchise doesn't have much history, so they might as well play up the awesome moments they do have.
Congrats to the Lightning for wrapping up their season in style this Saturday, winning 4-3 over the Jets. Steven Stamkos also scored his 60th goal of the season in the game, making him the only player besides Alex Ovechkin to score that many goals in a season since the NHL lockout.