Jose Fernandez starts have become must-see events for both casual and serious baseball fans.
The 21-year-old right-hander was again in fine form on Saturday night against the Padres, yielding just three hits over 6 2/3 scoreless innings while using his upper-90s fastball and wicked-but-under-control slider to strike out eight Padres batters. Giancarlo Stanton drove in two runs and Christian Yelich drove in one as the young Marlins grabbed a 5-0 victory over the Friars and moved to 5-1 on the year.
It’s ridiculously early, but the Fish currently hold the best run differential (+23) in the major leagues.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Twins 7, Indians 3
Reds 3, Mets 6
Yankees 0, Blue Jays 4
Phillies 2, Cubs 0
Orioles 6, Tigers 7
White Sox 3, Royals 4
Giants 7, Dodgers 2
Mariners 3, Athletics 1
Braves 6, Nationals 2
Cardinals 6, Pirates 1
Angels 5, Astros 1
Padres 0, Marlins 5
Rangers 4, Rays 5
Brewers 7, Red Sox 6 (11 innings)
Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 9
The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.
Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field. He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.
Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.