There’s clearly an anti-Upton and Morse bias afoot in Major League Baseball. Bears investigating. From the MLB press release machine:
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw has been named National League Player of the Week for the period ending April 7th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network. Kershaw went 2-0 in two starts last week and did not allow a single earned run in a Major League-high 16.0 innings of work. His 0.00 ERA ranked tied for first among Major League starters.
Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has been named the American League Player of the Week for his historic
performance during the period ending April 7th … Davis batted .455 (10-for-22) with three doubles, four home runs, 17 RBI and five runs scored in six games. For the week, the lefty-hitting slugger led all Major League hitters in RBI and slugging percentage (1.136) and was second overall in total bases (25). Among A.L. batters, Chris tied for second in homers, was fifth in batting average and was tied for sixth in on-base percentage (.500).
Davis, in a sense, has won this award twice in a row as he was co-AL Player of the week for the last week of 2012, sharing it with Justin Verlander.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.