NL WEST BATTLE FOR 1st PLACE-DODGERS vs ROCKIES PREVIEW

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The battle for NL West Supremacy starts tonight as the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers travel to Denver to battle the first place Colorado Rockies.  Both these teams are coming off huge series wins after the Rockies took advantage of an underachieving Cubs team and the Dodgers swept a Pirates team that looks more like potential sellers at the deadline with each disappointing loss.  The Dodgers and Rockies lineups are both having great offensive seasons, but this series really comes down to some outstanding pitching match-ups over the next four days.

Although the Dodgers were thrilled with their recent sweep of the Pirates, it unfortunately did come at a steep price.  Outfielder Andrew Toles tore his ACL while attempting to catch a fly ball that would have preserved the current ho-hitter starting pitcher Julio Urias was in the midst of.  Toles will miss the remainder of the season, but the silver lining is current rookie of the year favorite Cody Bellinger is likely to stay with the club for the remainder of the year since he is currently the best hitting outfielder on the LA roster and injuries are starting to pile of for the Dodgers.  Speaking of no-hitters, the Colorado Rockies pitcher German Marquez had a no-hitter going against the Cubs in the series finale yesterday until Kris Bryant was able to end it with a double in the 7th inning.  Both the Dodgers and Rockies had success against two different underwhelming NL Central teams this week, but tonight starts a four game series which will either keep Colorado atop the NL West, or see a power shift with the Dodgers taking over first place in the division.

The Match-ups and likely starters look like this for the series:

THURSDAY

Hyun-Jin Ryu, LA (LHP, 1-4, 4.04 ERA) vs Tyler Anderson, COL (LHP, 2-3, 6.69 ERA)

Thursday’s game might be the most important of the series since it could set the tone for the rest of the weekend.  Ryu last pitched for LA on 4/30 when he struck-out nine Philadelphia batters and recorded the win before heading to the DL.  Anderson is looking for his second win in a row after a tough start to the season that saw his ERA shoot up to 8.59 at one point, but his last outing saw him strikeout 10 Diamondbacks batters on 5/6.  Each team will be looking to get the W in tonight’s contest and likely are pleased it’s two “question mark” pitchers that’ll face off in the series opener.

FRIDAY

Clayton Kershaw, LA (LHP, 5-2, 2.40 ERA) vs Tyler Chatwood, COL (RHP, 3-4, 4.74 ERA)

Clayton Kershaw is 1-1 vs Colorado this season with a combined 16 strikeouts, while giving up 13 hits between the two contests.  Chatwood has seen his numbers get better this season after 7 starts and has yet to face LA this season but only has 1 actual win against a team over .500 this season, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does against a Dodgers lineup that is currently putting up more runs than any team in MLB.  If Kershaw can dominate and get run support from the LA lineup, the odds heavily favor the Dodgers in game 2.

SATURDAY

Alex Wood, LA (LHP, 3-0, 2.73 ERA) vs Kyle Freeland, COL (LHP, 3-2, 2.93 ERA)

Alex Wood vs Kyle Freeland could be the highlight match-up of this series since both players are off to fantastic starts this season.  Wood looks like he finally reaching his potential and meeting expectations after battling injuries the past two seasons and was outstanding against Pittsburgh when he struck out eleven batters while only giving up two hits and extended his winning streak to three games.  Freeland had a bad outing against the Cubs on Tuesday but has pitched very well against LA twice this season with a combined 9 strikeouts while giving up 8 hits.  This game starts a two game stretch of very interesting pitching match-ups to closeout this series featuring promising young talent.

SUNDAY

Julio Urias, LA (LHP, 0-0, 1.06 ERA) vs Antonio Senzatela, COL (RHP, 5-1, 2.86 ERA)

This is a great match-up to wrap up the series on Sunday since it’ll be the best young pitchers on each team facing off in the finale.  Urias flirted with a no hitter earlier this week, although Manager Dave Roberts insists that LA is standing firm on limiting Urias’ pitch count and he likely wouldn’t have been kept in once he reached his max pitch count.  Senzatela is coming off a solid performance against the Cubs and has won 5 of his 6 starts this season to help lead the Rockies to 1st place in the NL West.  Neither of these pitchers have faced the opponents this season and this pairing could be a preview of a pitchers’ duel we may see for years to come in the NL West.

This is should be a fun series for MLB fans over the next four days featuring two dynamic offenses and stellar pitching staffs.  Coors Field has always been know at a hitter’s park, but some of the best pitching in MLB resides on both rosters and will be showcased over the next four days.  No doubt, with 10 more games between the two teams left to be played this season, things are just starting to get interesting in the NL West with a battle for 1st place this weekend which quite possibly an early playoff preview.

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The Rangers Need to Trade Yu Darvish, Here are Some Ideas…

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The Texas Rangers are in big trouble right now, and it doesn’t look like things will get easier any time soon.  They just escaped getting swept by the 1st place Houston Astros last night and now head to Seattle to play three games in the Pacific Northwest against a Mariners team that plays far better at home opposed to the road.  The possibility of the Rangers getting swept this weekend is very real, meaning Texas could fall to at least 10 games behind the AL West leading Astros and panic will ensue…if it hasn’t already.  They currently sit 7 games back in the AL West, and it appears that the Astros will run away with this division if they continue their strong play and stay healthy.  The AL East already looks like a lock for the one game Wildcard Playoff (some combo of NY, BOS and BAL), so the Rangers have to clean house immediately and trade current players in order to help rebuild a farm system that only boasts 2 players in the MLB Top 100 Prospect list (#49 OF Leody Taveras and #50 LHP Yohander Mendez) or risk falling into obscurity for the foreseeable future.  That brings us to their next problem being that they have very few veteran players that are the least bit appealing on the trade market and ones that would be enticing are currently on the DL.  To make matters even worse for Texas, it was learned yesterday that ace Cole Hammels will miss at least the next 8 weeks due to injury, so let the Yu Darvish sweepstakes begin!!! Here are a few ideas as to where Darvish could be headed, and how the Rangers can help re-build in the process.  Yu Darvish not only the best trade asset Texas has, but could also be the best available pitcher in MLB via trade and teams will be lining up to add him to their rotations before the deadline.

CHICAGO CUBS

CUBS GET

Yu Darvish – SP (UFA in 2018)

Darvish

RANGERS GET

Javier Baez – IF (Under team Control with Arbitration until 2021)

Baez

Jeimer Candelario – 3B (Hitting .333 in Iowa right now)

Jeimer

WHY THIS WORKS FOR BOTH TEAMS-

The Cubs offense is fine and in no way, shape or form does the absence of Javier Baez from the Cubs lineup hurt them offensively. The Chicago lineup is currently stacked, and let’s be honest here folks, Ian Happ WILL be your starting 2B for the next 8+ years once he arrives (which will be soon) and Baez will be the odd man out.  As For Candelario, he is having a great season in Iowa but the reality is that Bryant and Rizzo aren’t going anywhere any time soon.  No matter if it’s Texas or some Place else, he will be traded or be a reserve at best.  Baez and Candelario would give Texas 2 young players to add to the mix with Baez possibly taking Odor’s spot at second base and Candelario either moving to 1B or DH in the near future.  The only questionable position for the Cubs right now is pitching.  There is a really good chance that Darvish will leave Texas as an UFA so Rangers need to get what they can and this move gives the Cubs a Solid SP which is an instant upgrade from John Lackey and Brett Anderson.  If Darvish had numerous years remaining on his deal there is no doubt that Texas could get much more, but getting a king’s ransom for a “rental” player will likely scare away many suiters from over-paying.  Cubs have the luxury of being the reigning Champions and certainly have more than enough to win right now, but no sense in not making your team better if given the opportunity.  Since you never know when injuries will strike, there is no such thing as too much good pitching, and this move would be a win-win for both teams.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

DODGERS GET

Yu Darvish – SP (UFA in 2018)

Darvish

RANGERS GET

Will Smith – C (2016 1st Round Pick)

Will Smith

Mitchell White – RHP (2016 2nd Round Pick)

White

Gavin Lux – SS (2016 1st Round Pick)

Lux

WHY THIS WORKS FOR BOTH TEAMS –

As a Die-hard Dodgers fan, I am in NO WAY sold on the LA starting pitching right now.  Dodgers have a #1 followed by question marks, inconsistent performances and injuries.  Adding Darvish to the LA rotation would be an immediate upgrade from anyone they have who isn’t named Clayton Kershaw.  “If” healthy (and I stress the “If”), a rotation of Kershaw, Darvish, McCarthy, Wood and Urias could certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the postseason.  Yes, as you made have noticed, I am being extremely optimistic about the LA health and outlook when I include McCarthy and Wood in a potential post season rotation for the Dodgers – but it’s Friday, I ain’t got no job, and I believe in the power of positivity (it’s a new day, yes it is!)  As for the Rangers, they would get to take advantage of LA in this deal by getting both of the Dodgers first round picks from 2016 along with a second round pick that surely has potential.  Will Smith has a few years to go, but he will become an MLB everyday starting Catcher down the road, and the same can be said about the young Gavin Lux.  With the emergence of Seager as the top young SS in MLB and top 2B prospect Willie Calhoun awaiting his call the MLB level, Lux will be the odd man out in LA, so his loss wouldn’t be as hard of a pill to swallow as would be the loss of Will Smith, BUT……if it gets the Dodgers a World Series Championship by adding Yu Darvish it’ll all be worth it.  Mitchell White would be a great addition for Texas as he certainly has a high ceiling and recently converted from a RP to SP.  This move would give the Rangers players that will need a few years to develop but that is a great way to bring along your farm system when your able to trade an UFA and get two first round picks along with a second round pick in return.

BOSTON RED SOX

BOSTON GETS

Yu Darvish – SP (UFA in 2018)

Darvish

Adrian Beltre – 3B (UFA in 2019)

Beltre

A.J. Griffen – RHP (UFA in 2019)

AJ

TEXAS GETS

Pablo Sandoval – 3B (UFA in 2021)*Boston pays 100% of Sandoval’s contract

Pablo

Jay Groome – LHP (2016 1st Round Pick, #1 LHP in MLB Top Prospects list)

Groome

Michael Chavis – 3B (2014 1st Round Pick)

Chavis

WHY THIS WORKS FOR BOTH TEAMS –

This trade “technically” involves six players, but really only five since Texas would only take on the roster spot and not the contract of Pablo Sandoval.  This deal would actually be perfect for both team because of the two pitchers involved.  Boston would add Darvish to a rotation that could possibly look like Sale, Price, Darvish and Rodriguez as your one through four, with Porcello, Pomeranz and Griffin all competing for the five spot entering the postseason.  Boston would be adding Darvish, Griffin and also Adrian Beltre to a roster that is built to win and compete right now.  Beltre is an UFA in 2019 and it doesn’t appear as though he will get that chance to win a ring by remaining in Texas, and this move would allow him to move to a contender and play at 3B for at least the remainder of the season when he returns from injury and he would certainly be an upgrade from Sandoval.  I am totally aware that Jay Groom is the #1 LHP prospect in all of MLB, but Boston is in the most competitive division in baseball and by giving up their top pitching prospect, they would receive what could be the best SP that will be available by trade this season along with an outstanding player to cover 3B or be a DH in Beltre.  Texas, in return, would get a top pitching prospect to build around along with a young 3B in Michael Chavis that will give them flexibility at the corners along with the DH spot for the future.  Taking on Sandoval isn’t ideal, but if Boston was willing to cover his cost, it’s worth it to be able to develop young players during that time along with “tanking” for a few season in order to get those high draft picks.   If Boston was able to add another ring their recent collection, I don’t think they would have any issue giving up Groome and eating Sandoval’s contract to achieve that goal.

I think it’s pretty obvious that Yu Darvish will be traded this season due to the poor play of the Texas Rangers along with the recent loss of Cole Hammels to the starting rotation.  I truly believe that a large market team (like the Cubs, Red Sox, or Dodgers) will be willing to part with some key future assets and possibly current everyday players to add what might be the best player available at the deadline to their respective rotations.  It’s only the first week of May and things are already getting interesting in the MLB trade market, it’s already looking to be an interesting summer.

Human Decency Prevails in Boston…At Least for One Night

Adam Jones Fenway Ovation

Adam Jones receives a standing ovation from Red Sox fans at Fenway Park after facing racial heckling the night before.

Old wounds never truly heal. They scab over, leave behind scars, but they never go away. Such is the case with racism and the United States, specifically in sports.

Race plays an unfortunately big role in baseball. It’s been that way since the earliest days of the game. Some of the greatest players to ever play never got to do so in the majors thanks to Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ infamous Gentleman’s Agreement with MLB owners to keep non-white ballplayers out of the game. Eventually, progress would forever banish the old ways to the history books.

Color barriers were broken. Baseball opened its borders and eventually became an international phenomenon, forever changing the face of the sport. From Jackie Robinson to Luis Aparicio, Sandy Koufax to Satchel Paige, Ernie Banks to Roberto Clemente, Henry Aaron to Ichiro, Ken Griffey, Jr. to Andrew McCutcheon, Manny Ramirez to Manny Machado, baseball is now a game for more than just white men.

That sadly doesn’t prevent people from reminding us of the “good ol’ days.”

On Monday night, Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones was heckled by unruly Boston fans at Fenway Park with some racial epithets. One fan, in particular, hurled racist remarks and a bag of peanuts at Jones while he was in the dugout. Rightfully upset at the events that transpired, Jones told the press that this night stood out for all of the wrong reasons:

“Tonight was one of the worst,’’ Jones said, slowly exhaling, “it’s different. Very unfortunate. It is what it is, right. I just go out and play baseball.

“But it’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being. I’m out there trying to make a living for myself and for my family.

“The best thing about myself is that I know how to continue to move on, and still play the game hard. Let people be who they are. Let them show their true colors.’’

He continued by stating that stadiums should enact harsher penalties on fans caught heckling players with racist taunts, including thousand-dollar fines and lifetime bans.

Should we still be surprised when drunk fans pop off “n-words” and other disgusting comments towards opposing black players anymore? No, but we should ideally strive to be something greater. Luckily on Tuesday night, the fans at Fenway rose to the occasion.

After the Red Sox and the mayor of Boston themselves issued public apologies to Adam Jones, fans at Fenway took it all one step further in the right direction.

Does this ovation undo the events from the night before? Hardly, but consider this. Adam Jones has spent his entire career as an opponent in Fenway. He has not once worn a Red Sox uniform, nor is he from the Boston area. Typically when an opposing player gets a standing ovation, they’re playing their first game against their former team or on their way to ending an outstanding career.

This is a classy move from a group of fans known for their rabid loyalty to their teams for better and for worse. Of course, racist insults aren’t exclusive to just Bostonians.

Far too many fans across the spectrum of professional sports throw racial slurs at opposing players. This has been a problem since day one of American sports and continues to plague leagues across the world. Just ask American soccer player Jozy Altidore or Canadian hockey forward Wayne Simmonds. This isn’t news to anyone paying attention.

Perhaps the Adam Jones Incident stands out more than it usually would thanks to the current political climate. We live in a time where the President of the United States signs executive orders to ban refugees from Muslim countries, pledges to build a wall to keep Mexicans from crossing the border, hires known anti-Semites and racists to influential positions within his administration, and whose very election elicted celebratory hate crimes around the nation. Racism is not some marginal issue that happens in the backdrop of our daily lives.

It’s alive, well, and spreading.

The ovation for Jones at Fenway shines a glimmer of hope for the future. Even though the Red Sox and Orioles continue a crazy feud that has boiled between both clubs since Opening Week, we as baseball fans can look proudly at the moment Red Sox fans decided to embrace Adam Jones the human being despite the color of his jersey.

But we can’t forget about the event that sparked Tuesday’s nice moment in the first place.

Earlier that day, a few Cubs were asked to provide their thoughts on the Adam Jones Incident. Jason Heyward, Carl Edwards, Jr., and Kyle Schwarber all provided good takes. But the best statement came from the skipper himself, Joe Maddon. After recalling an incident from the ’80s that disturbed him during his days in minor league baseball, Joe offered a simple solution:

“At some point, you have to do something about it,” Maddon said. “You can’t just listen to it.”

One round of applause can’t erase decades of ignorance. It can, however, begin to cover that old wound with some sort of protective dressing. It may feel like using a bandaid to cover the Grand Canyon, but it’s better than enlarging that gap with an earthquake.

So for one night, let’s salute the Fenway faithful for showing some measure of decorum and humanity. Everyone can take away an iota of knowledge with them to help combat the next racist outburst, no matter where it is or whomever throws that stone.

Friends don’t let friends degrade society with ignorant prejudice and malice. We don’t have time for any of that anymore.

Broadcaster Selfie

Adam Cipinko @Cipinko5

Cubs biggest threat

The 2017 season is not even a month old, but people are asking who are potential threats to the Cubs going repeating as World Series champions. It has been nearly 20 years since a team has repeated as World Series champions and I argue the competition will be stiffer.

Some of the potential teams that could pose a threat include the Los Angeles Dodgers as people may remember they were leading the Cubs 2-1 in the championship series before the Cubs took off. “They’re developing a powerhouse out there,” said team president Theo Epstein. “They’ve got a ton of resources. Andrew and his whole team are really bright and we see them as a team we have to go through year to year.”

The Dodgers have a ton of money and talent including Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, pitcher Julio Urias along with stud Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig. The best part of this from the Dodgers stand point is that all of these players are still in their prime years. However, the Dodgers are off to a sluggish start, starting under .500 almost one month into the season. The Dodgers surprised me the most out of any team last season, considering they lost Zach Greinke and the names in the starting rotation besides Kershaw did not really stand out.

The next potential team that could overtake the Cubs in 2017 are the Cleveland Indians. One of their key guys the tribe missed all of 2016 and could have made the difference was Michael Brantley, left-fielder. Add to that, the Indians got Edwin Encarnacion from the Blue Jays and will add to a line-up that should score runs on a consistent basis. The Indians have some unfinished business to do and look for that sense of urgency to be there, assuming they make it to October.

One team that has so much to prove in 2017 are the Washington Nationals, the expectations have been sky-high for a few years, but while they have been in the playoffs, they have not been able to advance past the division series. If the Nationals win their division and I think they should, considering the competition in that division is not real impressive, look out for the Nationals because if they make the playoffs, there will be a sense of urgency to win this year.

I am not going to predict anything in April, but I would not be surprised to see a Cubs-Red Sox World Series in 2017. The Sox got Chris Sale from the White Sox and he has not disappointed. In 37.2 innings pitched, his ERA is not even 1.25, which is better than his career ERA of 2.94. He is an intimidating at-bat and the Red Sox are going to ride on #41 to go as far as he can help take them. Even with David Ortiz retiring, the Red Sox offense will make pitchers throw pitches, as many Sox games end up being 4 hours or more.

One of the most difficult accomplishments in any sport is to repeat as champions, the league knows the Cubs and the game is all about adjustments. What will largely determine whether the Cubs repeat in 2017 or not is who will make the adjustments and whoever does that the best I argue will either dethrone the Cubs or the Cubs will raise a second straight World Series pennant.

Jason Heyward Is Back

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Heyward (center) is greeted at home plate by his teammates following his first inning three-run home run Monday night in Pittsburgh.

After being labeled a free agent bust by pundits and fans alike one year ago, the J-Hey Kid is showing us all just what $184 million can buy. 

Let’s face it, Jason Heyward had a pretty bad season in 2016. After signing the biggest contract of his young career, the Cubs right fielder struggled to find success in his new home. Coming off of the 2015 season in which he had a career-high .293 batting average for the St. Louis Cardinals, armchair GM’s everywhere declared Jason Heyward to be the biggest bust of 2016.

In spite of his personal struggles, Heyward still won a Gold Glove and, more importantly, a World Series. But aside from his now legendary speech to his teammates during the rain delay of Game 7, Heyward failed to make a significant contribution to the Cubs’ stat line.

After the champagne showers and parades concluded, Heyward immediately got to work fixing his swing. Fans waited with bated breath for any signs of improvement for the once highly touted Braves rising star. Videos surfaced of Heyward taking batting practice, inspiring many think pieces from observers and insiders from ESPN to MLB Network alike. Then spring came and went, and Heyward still looked as though he would suffer similar issues at the plate going into 2017.

Well, it’s still early, but if his recent play is any indication, the kid’s alright.

That’s a nice sight, isn’t it?

If the one highlight doesn’t convince you, just look at the stats. The Cubs have played 18 games in this young season, and the difference is pretty obvious.

Here are Heyward’s numbers through his first 18 games in 2016:

.221/.338/.265, 0 HR’s, 9 RBI, 17 SO’s, 11 BB’s, 3 doubles.

And here’s Heyward’s stats through the same amount of games in 2017:

.294/.342/.456, 3 HR’s, 16 RBI, 11 SO’s, 4 BB’s, 0 doubles, 1 triple.

The strikeouts are a little high for comfort, but the drop in walks won’t matter if Heyward continues hitting. He currently leads the Cubs in batting average and RBI. Perhaps he won’t end the season as the team’s best hitter. But if Jason Heyward hits half as well the rest of this season, it’ll be more than enough for a Cubs lineup loaded with power.

The Cubs continue their series against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET/6:05 CT. Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 6.19 ERA) looks to get some revenge against Gerrit Cole (1-2, 4.70 ERA) in a rematch of their previous matchup two weeks ago at Wrigley Field. Hopefully, Jason Heyward continues his hot hitting and sends a ball or two into the Allegheny.

 

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Adam Cipinko @Cipinko5

 

An Important Week for the Rockies

colorado-rockies-logoAs we near the end of the first month of the young MLB season, one of the biggest surprises has been the first place Colorado Rockies (13-6).  Of their 13 wins, 10 have come against division rivals San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles after winning the season opening series 3-1 while on the road against the Milwaukee Brewers.  Over the weekend, they completed a sweep of the Giants and have actually only lost one series this season against the fourth place Padres.  The good news for the Rockies is that they are winning divisional games early in the season and currently sit in first place, but the bad news is that they haven’t really played anyone that has been the least bit impressive, thus far.  The Dodgers have been floundering at the 500 mark while underachieving, the Giants are completely falling apart (including losing their ace to a dirt-biking accident last week) and only have six wins this season, while the Padres and Brewers are just bad baseball teams and both will likely meet low expectations this year.

That brings us to this week where the Rockies will face two opponents that will test them and show the rest of the league if the Rockies are “for real”, or if they have just had a hot start to the season and will be brought back down to earth.  They host the first place Washington Nationals for four games at Coors Field starting later tonight, with a match-up of Jacob Turner for DC going up against Tyler Anderson for the Rockies.  Anderson is 1-3 this season and is off to a terrible start with 7.32 ERA, however, Turner is making his first start of the year tonight as he fills in for Stephen Strasburg who will miss the series while on paternity leave.  This is a good matchup for Colorado and a win tonight would be huge for the Rockies since they will likely be facing Joe Ross (1-0, 3.86 ERA), Tanner Roark (2-0, 3.65 ERA) and Gio Gonzalez (2-0, 1.35 ERA) to finish out the series.  The Rockies have yet to name a starter for Tuesday’s game, but it looks like they’ll have Tyler Chatwood (2-2, 4.10 ERA) on the mound Wednesday and Antonio Senzatela (3-0, 2.08 ERA) facing Gonzalez on Thursday to wrap up the series.  DC is the hottest team in MLB right now fueled by both stellar pitching along with a great lineup and are currently on a seven game win streak.  This will not only be the first real test for Colorado this season, but could also be a potential playoff preview if the Rockies are able to continue winning games and stay in first place.  Their week gets even more difficult after the Nationals series, though, when they travel to Arizona to face the 12-8 Diamondbacks.  Arizona starts a four game series against San Diego tonight and depending on how that plays out, The Rockies could be playing for first place in the NL West over the weekend.  Both these series will be a true measuring stick to see if the Rockies are in fact, “for real”.  Arizona is another team that many are questioning the legitimacy of due to their hot start, but on paper they appear to be built to contend after a disappointing 2016 season.  The diamondbacks certainly are a better team than both the Padres and Brewers but I can’t say the same about the Dodgers and Giants, so this week will be a test for them, as well.

 

It’s a little difficult to judge how good this Colorado team actually is right now because of the lack of talented opponents they have faced and the hot offensive starts to the season for Gerardo Parra, Tony Walters and 33 year old Mark Reynolds.  Speaking of Mark Reynolds, he is actually putting Colorado in a tough spot when Ian Desmond returns to the lineup in the near future.  Desmond was signed this off-season for $70 million over 5 years to play first base and he may have to shift to the outfield when he returns to the lineup due the hot start of Reynolds.  Desmond did prove last season that he can play outfield, but that would force the Rockies to move either Parra, Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez out of the lineup.  I suppose that could be a good problem to have for Colorado in regard to “too much talent”, but at the same time you don’t want to fix what isn’t broken and mess around with team chemistry that is currently working well enough to keep them in first place.  Nolan Arenado is also off to an amazing start while becoming the face of the franchise and even if the Rockies do simmer down, the silver lining is that the future is bright in the Mile High City.  Colorado needs to get through this week first, and with two formidable opponents in both the Nationals and Diamondbacks, the Rockies will face their first true test of the 2017 campaign.

Introducing the Cubs 2017 walk-up songs

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With the season now underway, most of the players have selected their walk-up and pitcher entrance music for the 2017 season. While some of the guys have the same song as last year (Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo) other players have gone new directions this year. Here’s a look at the music of each member on the 25-man roster and I will do my best to update this playlist/article as often as possible with new songs that the players come out to

NOTE: The only player that is missing is Brian Duensing as I have yet to hear his pitcher entrance music so he was replaced by Tommy La Stella

#5 Albert Almora Jr. – “Ahora Estoy en el Bombo” by Jacob Forever, “Bailar (Remix)” by Deorro & Pitbull, “Greenlight” by Pitbull & Flo-Rida

#37 Brett Anderson – “Seek and Destroy” by Metallica

#49 Jake Arrieta – “Just What I Am” by Kid Cudi, “Goosebumps” by Travis Scott, “Miss Primetime” by Big Gigantic

#9 Javier Baez – “Informer” by Snow, “Visionary” by Farrukko

#17 Kris Bryant – “Warm It Up Kriss” by Kriss Kross

#40 Willson Contreras – “El Amante” by Nicky Jam, “Shaky Shaky” by Daddy Yankee, “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee

#71 Wade Davis – “Ackrite” by Dr. Dre

#6 Carl Edwards Jr. – “Kelly Price” by Migos & Travis Scott

#52 Justin Grimm – “Baba O’Riley” by The Who, “Tush” by ZZ Top and “Take It Outside” by Brantley Gilbert

#28 Kyle Hendricks – “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith

#22 Jason Heyward – “Tunnel Vision” by Kodak Black, “This Girl” by Kungs vs. Cookin On 3 Burners

#30 Jon Jay – “Public Service Announcement” by Jay-Z, “Born N Raised” by DJ Khaled

#2 Tommy La Stella – “Booty Swing” by Parov Stellar

#41 John Lackey – “Friends In Low Places” by Garth Brooks

#34 Jon Lester – “Gonna Know We Were Here” by Jason Aldean, “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” by Jake Owen, “Rebel Kids” by Justin Moore

#47 Miguel Montero – “Subeme La Radio” by Enrique Iglesias

#38 Mike Montgomery – “The Show Goes On” by Lupe Fiasco, “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

#44 Anthony Rizzo – “Intoxicated” by Martin Solveig, “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift and “It Ain’t Me” by Kygo & Selena Gomez

#56 Hector Rondon – “Tu Me Quemas Remix” by Chino y Nacho

#27 Addison Russell – “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West

#12 Kyle Schwarber – “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, “Bombtrack” by Rage Against The Machine, “Slam” by Onyx

#20 Matt Szczur – “Renegades” by X Ambassadors, “Wanna Be A Baller” by Lil Troy

#46 Pedro Strop – “Dame Banda De Camion” by El Alfa El Jefe, “Ella Me Dice” by Diol

#19 Koji Uehara – “Sandstorm” by Darude

#18 Ben Zobrist – “Bennie And The Jets (Cover)” by Julianna Zobrist, “Alive” by Julianna Zobrist