Since 2011, the Los Angeles Dodgers have not posted a record below .500. But, under the leadership of Dave Roberts, the Dodgers have taken an even bigger leap.
Since taking over the team he has won three National League Pennants and a World Series Championship (2020). Roberts also won the National League manager of the Year award in 2016 while dealing with one of the most injury-plagued teams in Major League history, placing an unprecedented 28 players on the IL.
It is no secret that the superstar Dodgers are a revolving door of high-level talent. The team has been filled with a litany of All Stars, blue-chip prospects, and key free agent signings that have fueled the team’s dominance over the past decade.
But no matter how the roster changes, Roberts has always kept them in a position that leads to constant winning and sustained success.
He has converted starting pitchers to relievers, former All Stars to quality role players, and even castaways from other organizations to mainstays in Los Angeles.
Although Dave Roberts has already established himself as one of the best managers in the game, if not the greatest, there is still much more he can accomplish. More money to make too.
Having won one out of three trips to the World Series, Roberts knows that he can again claim the ultimate prize by leading the team to success in October.
The Dodgers started the year as World Series favorites, something that has been a recurring theme during Roberts’s tenure.
Roberts is in a unique spot. With Los Angeles being one of the biggest markets in the sports world, there is always constant pressure to be great and reach lofty expectations.
His regular season success is something to lean on, but ultimately it won’t keep him safe when the team is in “championship or bust” mode.
With former American League MVP MLBbro Mookie Betts, and former National League MVP Freddie Freeman, he has a lineup that is averaging over 5 runs per game which leads the Majors.
His pitching staff, despite the loss of Trevor Bauer, also leads the league with a 2.25 ERA.
Dave Roberts is indeed an elite manager. With another World Series title in 2022, which is very well within his grasp, he could join an even greater pantheon of managers who have gone on to win multiple championships.
Since the debut of the first Black player in the MLB, Jackie Robinson, there have been several notable Black All-Stars. Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwynn, and Frank Thomas are just a few of the well-deserving Black players who have achieved this great feat.
The 2022 MLB season is still in its early stages, but if the early indicators are any sure signs, we may have a plethora of new Black All-Stars.
MLBbros Bound for L.A.
The first quarter of the season is hardly a large enough sample size to predict All Star rosters. With MLB rules stating that every team must be represented at the All-Star game, this helps us to broaden our perspective for potential All Star players. MLBbros Byron Buxton, JP Crawford, and Jazz Chisholm are the best candidates to represent the Black players in Los Angeles, the home of the 2022 MLB All Star game.
Byron Buxton: I mentioned earlier in the season that if Byron Buxton could remain healthy, he would be a hot topic in the MVP conversation. While a knee injury did result in him missing almost two weeks of playing time, he has since come back on a tear.
Through 16 games Buxton is batting .290 with 7 HR. Not to mention since his return to the lineup the Twins have been winning more consistently, winning eight out of their last ten games.
J.P. Crawford: The Seattle Mariners shortstop is having a career season. He is batting .364 and has improved dramatically at the plate this season. Fresh off a 5 year/ $51 million contract extension, Crawford has rewarded Seattle with his best season to date.
Although he has not been the defensive superstar that he was years prior, his body of work (Gold Glove 2020) shows he can return to being an elite defender. If he can maintain his improved batting and return to top tier defense, he will undoubtedly be Seattle’s All-Star representative.
Jazz Chisholm: After injuries slowed down what was an overall promising year in 2021, the Miami Marlins 2nd baseman Jazz Chisholm has started strong once again. Chisholm is still providing excellent defense on the field and tremendous speed on the basepaths.
He already has three triples on the year, which is one shy of his previous year’s total of four. With four HRs also and a .329 batting average, Chisholm is proving to be one of the best all-around young players in the sport.
MLBbros on All-Star Watch
There are also some MLBbros who are on the All-Star radar and can boost their chances with strong performances in May and June. Josh Bell and George Springer are both having good seasons for their respective clubs.
MLBbro Josh Bell, while not a household name, is on fire batting an impressive .349 and is top five in the National League in Batting Average and Hits. In his seventh year, Bell is putting together the best season since his 2019 All-Star season.
George Springer is no stranger to the All-Star game, as he has already made three appearances. Yet, he has not been an All-Star since 2019. He is finding success early in his first year with his new team: the Toronto Blue Jays. If he can continue being an offensive catalyst at the top of their lineup, and the Blue Jays continue their success, there is a good chance that Springer makes his fourth All-Star appearance in Los Angeles.
The All-Star game in baseball is one of the most competitive All-Star games in professional sports. Both leagues fight for supremacy and the game is fun and compelling. If these MLBbros continue to excel through the summer months of the season, they will earn themselves an opportunity to shine on one of the biggest stages the sport can offer.
Last year the Chicago Cubs closed the chapter on the core of their 2016 World Series-winning roster. By parting ways with Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant, the Cubs signaled an immediate shift towards the future of the franchise.Thus far in 2022 Chicago fans have already seen promising developments from new outfielder Seiya Suzuki, but the team’s next true building block is MLBbro Brennen Davis.
The Chicago Cubs selected Brennen Davis in the second round of the 2018MLB Draft. Throughout his minor league career, he has risen through the ranks and currently sits as the 15th ranked prospect in the MLB top 100 Prospect List.He has batted .272 and shown flashes of Gold Glove capability in Center Field. Davis’s pre-Covid hitting statistics in 2018 and 2019, .298 and .305 respectively, were more indicative of what the Cubs and their fans expected when drafting him.
Forced to sit out in 2020, due to the Minor League cancellation resulting from thepandemic, Davis has yet to post similar statistics last year and during the early part of this season. Still, Davis has shown flashes of brilliance and has an element of star caliber that simply cannot be ignored. In the 2021 MLB Futures game, Davis was awarded the MVP award for his two moonshot home runs. With raw natural power and blazing speed, he can instantly bring 30/30 capability to the Cubs lineup.
The 2022 season has gotten off to a rocky start for the Chicago Cubs. This season was always intended to provide an outlook into their immediate future. The sooner MLBbro Brennen Davis gets the call-up, the sooner his ascension can begin. MLBbro Jayson Heyward, who has been a stalwart in the organization since joining the team before the 2015 season, has been playing well in his 13th season.That being said, it would be more beneficial to the Cubs to remove him from the lineup for the young upstart Davis. This move should come sooner rather than later.
The Cubs would be providing the young star valuable experience, which he could use to overcome any growing pains alongside potential long term outfield teammate Suzuki. Although a quick glance at Davis’s slash line (.208/.307/.359) with the Cubs Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs, leaves much to be desired, the organization has enough evidence to give him a call-up in a transitional year.
Long Term Goals
Brennen Davis has expressed his desire to be in the Majors, and the Cubs understand they cannot keep his talent in the minors forever. A realistic expectation for Davis’s arrival seems like a September call up at the latest. But there is room for this to change.
A team with a need for a defensive upgrade in the outfield, or a veteran left-handed batter could be interested in Jayson Heyward, which could free up playing time for the Cubs top rate prospect. In the meantime, Davis should continue honing his skills in Iowa, and decrease his strikeout ratio, one of his biggest concerns in the early season. If all things fall into play Brennen Davis could be getting his call to the show before you know it.
An ace pitcher is meant to anchor a team’s pitching rotation, set the tone for the other starters, and lead by example. This is what the Chicago Cubs hoped for when signing MLBbro Marcus Stroman this past offseason to a 3-year, $71 million contract. Stroman is the seasoned veteran and workhorse, whom the Cubs felt confident could lead the charge as they looked to rebound from a disastrous 2021 season.
After a rough outing this past Wednesday, The Stro Show imploded surrendering 8 runs in 4.1 innings, and the Cubs cannot be excited about how his season has started.
Stroman doesn’t have a dominating fastball or explosive slider. He is finely tuned, with an array of pitches that keep hitters off balance.
Command issues have been one of Stroman’s biggest setbacks in the early season, and even he has addressed that he must improve. Particularly with his sinker, which has been one of his go-to pitches in his career, he is struggling to locate. He alluded to being out of sync with his mechanics and believes once he corrects those fundamental issues, he will be back on track.
“Nothing seems synonymous. Every pitch essentially feels like I’m doing something different mechanically,” Stroman said. “It kind of comes and goes. In stretches I feel great for an inning or a few batters and then kind of just lose it.”
Stroman signed with the Cubs to compete, as the ace of a playoff team. For that to happen, he is aware of the duties and expectations on his shoulders. Cubs’ fans anxiously await his return to elite form.
Chicago brought in Stroman to bring stability to a team that seemed unstable in 2021. Throughout his career, he has consistently been able to provide close to 200 innings a season and provide Quality starts. These are starts in which a pitcher goes six or more innings and allows no more than three runs. Stroman has pitched Quality starts in more than half his career starts.
Stroman even tied for the MLB lead in starts in the 2021 season with 33. He set career bests in ERA, WHIP (1.15), strikeout rate (21.6 percent) and walk rate (6.0 percent). With the Chicago Cubs in the middle of a transition, after trading the core of their 2016 World Series team, they had plans for Stroman to be the workhorse of the staff and take stress off the bullpen, which struggled mightily in 2021.
A former All-Star (2019) and Gold Glove Winner (2017), Stroman was the ideal candidate to help bridge the gap between rebuilding and competing.
Since making his major league debut in 2014, Stroman’s 58.2-percent ground ball rate ranks second- highest in that stretch, surpassed only by Clayton Kershaw (59.6).
Keith Law says #MLBbro pitcher @STR0 is the best starter on the free agent market. The kid from LI continues to show that Height Doesn’t Measure Heart #HDMH
Through his first three starts with the Cubs, he has yet to produce a Quality Start. In two of three outings, Stroman has failed to go at least five innings and given up five or more runs. After a promising first start, there has been significant regression in the last two.
Stroman is 0-2, with an ERA of 8.78. While Stroman’s elite defense is still a factor, the Cubs will need more than great glove work to have any shot at success this year.
All things considered; the Cubs should remain confident in their anointed ace. His track record over his eight-year career speaks for itself. While Stro Show’s performances don’t always translate into wins (He’s only won double-digits three times, with a high of 13 wins in 2017), he usually gives his team a chance to win.
The Cubs have gotten off to a middling start but there is plenty of baseball left for Stroman to regain his form, lead the pitching rotation and the team to success.
Although Baltimore Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins, aka CM Storm, burst onto the scene with an All-Star campaign in 2021, he and the franchise are already at a crossroads.
With the Orioles torn between retooling their farm system and building around their current All-Star caliber cornerstone players, MLBbro Cedric Mullins finds himself stuck in the middle.
With Baltimore coming off a 5th-place finish in the AL East in 2021 along with an equally dismal start to 2022, combined with their unwillingness to increase their payroll, Mullins could find himself roaming center field for another franchise by the trade deadline.
A Rising Star
The mere mention of trading Mullins should be laughable as last year was the best statistical season of his young career. It was the first full season he was able to play due to the shortened 2020 season and him splitting time between the Majors in minors in 2019.
He finished 2021 ninth in AL MVP voting with a .291 batting average, 30 HRs, and 59 RBI. Mullins was also the only player in 2021 to join the 30/30 club with 30 stolen bases as well. Mullins was one of, if not, the best leadoff hitters in the Majors last year.
Cedric Mullins Knocking On Door Of Exclusive 30-30 Club | mlbbro.com
Trade or No Trade, Mullins will Excel
With the rest of the AL East constantly adding talented players, the Baltimore Orioles would be wise to refrain from moving him. At age 27, Mullins is on the verge of his prime and is the type of offensive catalyst that can keep pace with the other stars in the American League. But it was made evident this offseason that several other teams were interested in his skills. The Yankees were one of the most notable teams to inquire about his availability.
Whether he is traded or not could affect him in several ways. If traded to a winning franchise, he could be elevated to another level. The production Mullins delivered at the plate in 2021 was enough for a top 10 MVP finish even playing for a team that was well below .500.
Joining a team in playoff contention could raise him to top 5 MVP consideration.
Cedric Mullins Is An All-Star | Period, End of Story | mlbbro.com
Mullins Vital to Future of Orioles
The future of Cedric Mullins and the Orioles are both in the air at the current moment. Mullins spent most of the winter wondering if he would remain in Baltimore.
Many teams were interested in the services of the versatile outfielder and asked about the price needed to acquire him.
The Orioles were not conservative in their demands for hefty returns for Mullins. They are aware that he is a young star and will be under club control through the 2025 season.
If the Orioles decide to trade Mullins, the team could receive several prospects to bolster their farm system going forward. In contrast, by not trading Mullins, the Orioles could resign him, and form a one-two punch with Adley Rutschman to carry the team as it continues its climb out of the AL East cellar.
Slow Start, With a Brightside
Cedric Mullins has gotten off to a slow start in 2022. The Orioles are hopeful that he returns to his 2021 form soon.
He was the team leader in most offensive categories last year, with 175 hits, 91 runs, 72 XBH, 59 walks and 30 stolen bases. Mullins also led the team in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS.
Baltimore will still do its due diligence and vet trade offers for Mullins. With at least three years to be under team control after 2022, Mullins must continue to post MVP caliber numbers to earn significant contracts via arbitration.
Maintaining his All-Star status will either convince the Orioles to commit to him, or entice another team to trade for him, thus choosing to make him a part of their future.
Cedric Mullins earned his first-career Silver Slugger after setting career-highs and leading the Orioles in nearly every major offensive statistical category in 2021.