The National League East Division is still up for grabs as we near the end of the MLB season. Currently the New York Mets have a one-game lead and are headed into a crucial three-game series with the second-place Atlanta Braves. The Mets are preparing to hold on to that lead by calling up their top catching prospect Francisco Alvarez. But the Braves are already ahead of them as they have two 2022 call ups of their own who are going to play pivotal roles in this series.
MLBbro Michael Harris has been a gem for the Braves this season. He helped ignite the turnaround for the team after a slow start to the season and has been a catalyst in the lineup. While Harris has struggled in his games against the Mets, batting only .225 ( 1 HR), he has shown an uncanny ability to come up clutch whenever the team needs him. His speed on the base paths will also be key, as with the Mets using a catcher that is new to “The Show”, Harris can use this to his advantage and help “steal” the series. He has helped to make their outfield one of the best defensive groups in the league along with superstar teammate Ronald Acuna Jr. If Harris can come up big at the plate, and deliver his usual stellar defense, the Mets may have their hands full.
MLBbro Vaughn Grissom has not been in the majors as long as his MLBbro teammate Harris, but he has certainly delivered in his short stint. Not only is he a great hitter at such a young age, but he is also a smooth-fielding second baseman who seems poised under pressure. He came in earlier in the season with big shoes to fill during the absence of Ozzie Albies, but he has delivered and showed he belongs at the Major League level. Although his sample size is small, he has had success against the Mets, batting .429 in four games, and will also play a crucial role in this series.
This series will more than likely place the winner of it in the driver’s seat for the National League East. Both teams are a lock for the playoffs but having Home-field advantage in the first round could be the difference in a disappointing season or a magical one. The Braves are in a familiar place, but with two young MLBbros who are ready to start their own postseason legacies, they are more confident than ever.
When the Milwaukee Brewers signed outfielder Lorenzo Cain to a five-year $80 million contract back in 2018, the team wanted to capitalize on the production the Kansas City Royals MLBbro was providing over several seasons. The peak of that incredible run was in 2015, when Cain finished third in the MVP race and helped the Royals to a World Series Championship.
Things were still on a high note for Lorenzo in his first couple of seasons in Milwaukee. In his first season, Cain was an All-Star and followed that up with his first career Gold Glove award in 2019. Then everything changed.
After opting out of the 2020 COVID season, multiple injuries have dogged him as he approaches the final season of his contract. 78 missed games due to a left quad strain and a right hamstring strain brought looming questions of Cain calling it quits when his contract is up.
Despite Cain’s slow start at the plate, he is still dominant on defense which shows his Gold Glove winning abilities have not eroded. He is tied for the MLB lead in Defensive Runs Saved among center fielders, with a 92 percentile in Outs Above Average. It shows the level of commitment to the offseason work this MLBbro put in after a season derailed by leg injuries.
“I did a lot of running. I did everything possible to make sure these legs are ready to go,” he said. “A lot of conditioning, a lot of running, a lot of working out. Even went to see the PT on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the morning to make sure my knees and everything else is good.
“Now it’s about going out here on the field and hopefully all of the work pays off and we go out here and get it done.”
The Milwaukee Brewers are currently in first place in the National League Central Division. This will buy some time for Cain to improve on his uncharacteristic slash of .182/.247/.216 at the plate. If not, he could be stashed on the IL to get him ready for the post season. At this point, Cain is 14 dingers away from 100 for his career and 55 RBI from an even 500, so he has some milestones to look forward to.
No matter if he leaves the game this year or not, he always has time for the fans. He bought drinks for the fans during the Marlins series a week ago in the “This Ones On Me ” tour.
No matter what happens, our MLBbro, Lorenzo Cain will be leaving on his terms which is a great thing within itself.
“If it’s my last year, it’s my last year. “I’ve had a great career,” Cain reflected. “I’ve done everything possible that I can think of throughout my career and I have accomplished a lot. So, I’m happy if it’s my last year.”
Don’t let the smile fool you, this MLBbro is always locked in.
The 32-year-old MLBbro Center fielder George Springer has been playing well for the Toronto Blue Jays. After a scare getting hit in the forearm against the Boston Red Sox, Springer has been good and there’s no doubt about it. Springer has a batting average of .286 with 10 RBI, .847 OPS, and one stolen base.
The Blue Jays sit one game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East standings with a 13-8 record before today’s matchup against the Houston Astros as they look to bounce back falling to the Astros, 11-7. On Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox, Springer came up clutch hitting a two-run homer to tie the game up in the ninth inning. This was Springers’ 200th career home run and he celebrated it by pumping his fist up in the air rounding first base.
Springer has a bright personality not only in the clubhouse with teammates but on the field playing the game with fun and thrill. As Springer did with the Astros for years, he loves pressure situations. Whether it’s during the World Series or a late May game it matters no different.
Blue Jays Manager Charlie Montoyo on George Springer heroics late in the ninth inning, “That was special what Springer did, You don’t teach that. He wants it. He’s one of those guys, and that’s why he does so good in the playoffs. He’s one of the best players in playoff history because he’s waiting for those moments to happen.”
The Blue Jays went on to close out that game with a walk-off win 6-5 over the Red Sox and Springer finished with 3 RBI. Since sitting out Friday’s game with a forearm bruise, Springer has hits in four straight contests and has gone 6-for-17 with a double and two homers.
This is what the Blue Jays were hoping for after inking him to a six-year, $150 million deal in 2021. Springer is in the top-five all-time with 19 postseason home runs. Having led the Astros to their World Series win, Springer took home the World Series MVP award. He hit five home runs for the Astros in the seven-game long World Series.
Springer is looking like he’s fully healthy and the Blue Jays will finally get to experience his full value. The diving plays catching balls that are hit in between gaps outfield, having a calming presence in the clutch moments, and being a fun teammate in the clubhouse. That’s all the Blue Jays need from Springer as they have a stacked batting lineup that includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette , and Raimel Tapia.
Springer has played in less than 100 games for the Blue Jays but he’s already in their record books. He’s one of only six players with an OPS above .900 in their first 95 games and trails only Jose Canseco with 26 home runs. The Blue Jays who have championship aspirations need Springer to stay on the field, the team is better when he’s playing. Blue Jays have a record of 59-37 when Springer is playing for the past two seasons and 44-41 when he doesn’t suit up for the organization.
Look for the Blue Jays to continue to climb up MLB power rankings and stay there as the season progresses forward. While they’re sitting there at the top, just know that more than likely George Springer will have something to do with the success of this 2022 Blue Jays’ team.