Bryce Harper hit his 18th home run of the season off of a guy who gives up a lot of home runs, Ervin Santana. The home run extended Harper’s hitting streak to eight straight games and tied the game at 4-4. The Nationals ended up losing the game 6-4.
With this homer – number 40 on Harper’s career – he became the third man in baseball history to reach 40 homers before his 21st birthday.
One thing I can promise about Kansas City and baseball…their fans hate Robinson Cano. You may remember last year when fans felt like the roundish Billy Butler should have been in the home run derby even though he is more likely to win the doubles derby. Well the fans let him know they were displeased. I don’t know if that has anything to do with how the Royals will do this year, but they at least are trying to get where Cano’s team has been forever…the playoffs. The Royals have longed tickled our curiosity as to whether they can make the leap. This year, I don’t think they can, but they do.
Let’s take a closer look at the Royals.
Major Off-Season Moves:
James Shields and Wade Davis from Tampa Bay.
Resigned Jeremy Guthrie.
Signed Ervin Santana.
This was one of the first and biggest moves of the off season. Apparently the Royals felt like their lineup was sufficient and they needed pitching because they gave up a major prospect in Wil Myers (who probably should have been playing last year) for pitching reinforcements, particularly Shields, who will become their staff ace. Davis can handle a spot in the back of the rotation. Guthrie will slide into the second spot.
I feel like this year’s preview could be copied almost straight from last year with a few name changes. The Angels went out and signed a big stud hitter for big bucks. This year – Josh Hamilton, last year – Albert Pujols. They changed up their pitching staff. This year – Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas, last year – CJ Wilson. So what did it get them last year? Jack shit. 3rd place in a pretty good division – even though they were playing much better towards the end of the season. One thing they do have this year, that they didn’t last year: a full season of Mike Trout.
Let’s take a closer look at the Angels.
Major Off-Season Moves:
Signed Josh Hamilton to a 5 yr/$125M contract.
Acquired SP Jason Vargas from the Mariners.
Acquired SP Tommy Hanson from the Braves.
Signed SP Joe Blanton.
Signed RP Ryan Madson.
The Angles certainly weren’t quiet this off season and pulled another sneak attack when they signed Josh hamilton from rival Texas. It was seemingly likely the Mariners or Rangers for Hamilton and then the Angels swooped it and gave him exactly what he wanted. When Arte Moreno sees a shiny toy he wants, he steps up big. They also need to reload their rotation after Zach Greinke left and they jettisoned Ervin Santana. They grabbed 3 new starting pitchers so they at least got some bodies in there.
Now on to who is going to take the field this year.