MLB News and Notes: The Ohtani show, Postponed Games, and Injury Updates

MLB Previews

The first weekend of the regular baseball season is over, but it was not without its fair share of storylines. From postponed games to dazzling performances, the beginning of the season had a little bit for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest news stories from around the league.

Nationals Have To Postpone Another Game

After having their entire first series with the New York Mets postponed, the announcement was made on Sunday that the Washington Nationals’ game with the Atlanta Braves on Monday has also been postponed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak on the Nationals.
Between a few more people having to go into quarantine for contact tracing and the lack of workouts the team has been able to have, the league felt it was best to take one more day off before letting the Nationals start their season.
Still, MLB also announced Sunday that the Nationals and Braves would play on Tuesday. After another round of test results came in, there were no new cases for Washington, meaning the worst is likely behind them. While some teams will have already played five games by the time Washington takes the field, Nationals fans will just be happy to finally have their opening day.

Shohei Puts On A Show Sunday

Ever since breaking into the league, there has never been a doubt as to how talented Shohei Ohtani could be if he could just stay healthy. On Sunday, he displayed some of that superstar talent.
Pitching against the Chicago White Sox, Ohtani dazzled as both a pitcher and a hitter. Pitching, he went 4.2 innings, allowing just 2 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 7. He did walk 5, but he also topped out with his fastball at 101 mph.
The only thing more impressive than throwing over 100 mph was hitting over that mark. After pitching in the top of the first, he came up to bat in the bottom of the inning and smoked a 115 mph shot over the fence for a home run. 
Needless to say, if he can reign in the control, Ohtani could be in line for a huge year as both a pitcher and a hitter. Still, injuries have to be a concern. He actually left the game in the fifth inning after a collision at home plate following a dropped third strike. 
While his night was likely already done due to having thrown 92 pitches, it is still the dilemma that Angels’ manager Joe Maddon will have to constantly grapple with. What is more important, Ohtani, the pitcher, or the hitter?

Barrage Of Injuries Dampens Opening Weekend

Unfortunately, Shohei Ohtani wasn’t the only one who had to leave a game this week due to an injury. Here are some of the major injuries from the opening series of the regular season:

  • Tim Anderson – In fact, Ohtani was not the only star that left Sunday night’s game. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson had to leave the game as a result of a hamstring injury that currently has him day-to-day, according to an announcement from the White Sox. For a team already without Eloy Jimenez, losing Anderson for an extended period of time would be a brutal blow to Chicago early in the season.
  • Ke’Bryan Hayes – After a wonderful opening day Friday for Hayes that saw him homer in the Pirates’ win over the Cubs, Hayes had to leave the game Saturday after jamming his wrist diving into first base on a pickoff attempt. That dive has led to inflammation in his wrist, and Hayes has been put on the 10-day injury list by the Pirates as a result. At just 24-years-old, Hayes is one of the major building blocks for the Pirates moving forward, so don’t be surprised if they handle him with kid gloves this season.
  • Josh Donaldson – The Minnesota Twins placed third baseman Josh Donaldson on the injured list due to a right hamstring strain. Donaldson had to leave during the Twins’ opener due to the injury. Last season, Donaldson hit .222/.373/.469 with 6 home runs in 81 at-bats. Injuries have plagued the 35-year-old in recent years, but hopefully, he won’t be out too long.

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