Bronson Arroyo’s Dominant Start — Chris B. Young Making a Home North of the Border — Who is this John Bowker guy? — Red Sox Living Up to Early Hype.
The defending NL Central division Champion Cincinnati Reds are an uninspiring 4-5 to start the season, but that isn’t due to the effort of veteran starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo. In his first two starts of 2011, Arroyo pitched seven innings, allowed zero earned runs, struck out nine and walked just two while scattering nine hits. He received a no-decision on April 2 against the Brewers – a game the Reds ended up losing 4-3. Then, he received the win at Arizona on the the 8th.
This off-season the Arizona Diamondbacks decided to trade outfielder Chris B. Young to the Toronto Blue Jays for a slew of players including Jon Rauch and Scott Podsednik. So far, Young is making a nice impression on fans in Toronto as he is hitting .303 with four homers and 13 RBI out of the gate. He took home the first American League Player of the Week Award. Rauch has also been successful early on in his second stint with Arizona – pitching in 8.0 innings, he is 1-0 with one save and hasn’t allowed an earned run and only three hits. Podsednik has received just six at-bats for the D-Backs so far, but has four hits and three RBI in those chances.
John Bowker is getting a chance to play in Pittsburgh and has taken advantage early on. His five homers are tied for the Major League lead in that category. Unfortunately, the Bucs haven’t had many runners on in front of him, as he has just six RBI to show for the five bombs. He has been leading off for the Pirates and his hitting .326 through 43 at-bats.
The Boston Red Sox spend the off-season acquiring pieces to develop one of the scariest lineups in baseball. The addition of 1B Adrian Gonzalez in a trade with the Padres and the free agent signing of Carl Crawford tops the list. The team, and their $166 Million payroll – is paying off so far – sitting at 8-1. Ranked atop the AL in on-base percentage (.372), OPS (.867), HR (14), walks (44) and first in runs allowed in the AL with just 33.