MLBits: Mets Rotation is Cooking (Even without deGrom), HRs Down, Miggy Nearing 3,000, More

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MLBits: Mets Rotation is Cooking (Even without deGrom), HRs Down, Miggy Nearing 3,000, More

Chicago Cubs

The Mets rotation is cooking through their first couple of turns through the rotation and there might be a chance they’ll get Jacob deGrom back in the near future.

Jacob deGrom will be Re-Evaluated on Monday

The New York Mets check in this afternoon with a 9-3 record, and they can thank their starting rotation for much of their early success this season. Max Scherzer is 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his first three starts with the Mets. Scherzer has struck out 23 in 18 innings of work to date, but he’s not alone. Tyler Megill is 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA, and Chris Bassitt and Carlos Carrasco both have ERAs under three after their first two starts of the season.

The Mets have the best rotation in baseball through the first two weeks, and Jacob deGrom isn’t even a part of the equation … yet. deGrom will undergo a follow-up MRI next Monday to determine whether or not he can begin throwing after imaging showed a stress reaction in his right shoulder scapula during Spring Training.

Even if things go well next Monday, it’ll take time for deGrom to get ramped up, and then he’ll probably have a couple of rehab starts in the minors before he joins the rotation this season. Still, can you imagine that rotation with deGrom back in the fold? Sick.

Mets starting pitchers have a 65-14 K-BB ratio in 57 innings of work this season. Jacob deGrom posted a 14.28 K/9 in 15 starts last season. That rotation will be missing bats in a significant way this season.

Early Returns: Home Runs are Down; Sliders are Up

Jeff Passan’s latest ESPN+ column dives into some early trends in baseball this season, including a decrease in offense (and home runs in particular), an increase in bullpen usage, and the year of the slider. I feel all we do these days is talk about balls. Baseballs, of course. They were juiced, then they were dead, then both, and now, they seem to be … dead again this year?

Passan points to a league-wide dip in slugging percentage (from .392 each of the past two years to .380 this season) and runs per game (down from 4.44 last season to 4.22 this year) to highlight the early-season dropoff in offense across baseball. Passan points out a significant drop in home runs and the balls themselves as the culprit behind the lack of offense, and he might be correct, but it seems a bit too early to be worrying about it, no?

You’re never going to have a perfect product when humans are involved, but at least every team is storing their baseballs in humidors to level the playing field for the first time this season. Maybe we give it a month before we start to draw conclusions. It’s been extremely cold around most baseball cities this April, and we’re coming off a shortened Spring Training.

Passan also talks about starting pitching performances being shortened and the increased usage of the slider this season, a trend taking place mostly with relievers who are pitching more innings than ever early this season. You can check out Passan’s complete 20 questions column here:

Kyle Freeland, Rockies Agree to Extension

On Tuesday afternoon, the Colorado Rockies and southpaw Kyle Freeland agreed on a new five-year, $64.5 million contract extension that includes a sixth-year player option. Freeland, 29, was taken in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Rockies and has spent his entire career in Denver.

It’s been a rough start for the 29-year-old lefty, who owns a 7.71 ERA in his first three starts of the season for the Rockies. Still, the Rockies hope that Freeland’s bumpy start is just that. Despite being tagged for 12 earned runs in 14 innings of work this season, Freeland owns a career ERA of 4.27 and is just a few seasons removed from a stellar 2018 campaign in which Freeland went 17-7 with a 2.85 for Colorado.

The Rockies have been a pleasant surprise thus far, with an 8-3 record through their first 11 games.

Miggy Nears the 3,000 Hits Milestone

A second-inning base hit for Miguel Cabrera gave Miggy 2,996 for his career, putting him within striking distance of reaching 3,000 hits at some point this week!

Speaking of Miguel Cabrera against the Yankees …

Odds & Ends …

•   The Tigers deployed a shift against Anthony Rizzo that featured five fielders on the right side of the second base bag on Tuesday night:

•   The New York Porch duped the Angels radio broadcast:

•   My 131st overall pick of C.J. Cron in fantasy baseball is making me look like a genius in the early going! Cron has six home runs and a 1.199 OPS in 47 plate appearances for the Rockies.

•   We discussed the A’s attendance problems in yesterday’s MLBits

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.