The Bros Are Back In Town In The NL East Division

The Bros Are Back In Town In The NL East Division

The NL East has become a battle of familiar faces as the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves begin to pull away from the pack. Let’s take a look at two MLBbros who have contributed in critical areas to both teams.

More Money, More Cash, More W’s

This offseason, Steve Cohen and the Mets front office were as aggressive as we’ve ever seen the little brothers from Queens. They spent big money on Mad Max Scherzer and expected a major bounce back from oft injured ace Jacob DeGrom. But injuries to both have forced the Mets to lean on the last Black Knight left in the Big Apple, Taijuan Walker.

Walker has a 6-2 record so far this season, but as we all know in today’s game we have to go beyond the win-loss record to discuss a pitcher’s true impact. Over his last seven starts, Walker has given up 39 hits in 42.1 innings pitched, while striking out 37 batters along the way.

When opponents have been able to hit Walker, he has done a great job of minimizing the damage. According to FanGraphs, his left-on-base percentage this season is 74.9. One reason Walker may be confusing hitters this season is the fact that he has tweaked his pitching arsenal considerably.

Last season, Walker primarily threw a four-seamer, a sinker and a slider. These three pitches made up 78.6 percent of the pitches that opponents saw, which became predictable as the season went along. This year, not only has he added another pitch to his arsenal (a cutter), Walker has dropped his sinker from his primary rotation of pitches.

Instead of relying on his sinker as his second out pitch, Walker’s split-finger fastball has hitters handcuffed this season, managing just a .155 batting average against the pitch. Walker has held down the fort as the Mets await the return of their aces. That could be scary for the teams chasing the Mets.

Atlanta Fighting Back

The Braves have battled back from a rough start of the season to remain right in the race. MLBbro Travis Demeritte was called up and eventually sent back down, but Michael Harris II has flashed on the five-tool player he was advertised to be.

When I asked Atlanta Braves third base coach Ron Washington what he saw in the young centerfielder Michael Harris II, he didn’t mince words.

“Ballplayer,” Washington placed a heavy emphasis on this word as he began his statement. “He’s not enamored by the big leagues. We aren’t expecting much out of him, which helps him to relax. He’s certainly shored up our defense in the outfield, he’s running the heck out of the base paths. He’s swinging the bat, the kid is a baseball player.”

We’ve raved about the defense since his arrival in the bigs, but Harris has been a much stronger presence in the ninth spot than many anticipated. Harris is hitting .360 over his last seven games, which included collecting four hits in three games against their newfound rivals from the west, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The rook hasn’t been overpowered by fastballs and is also hitting off-speed pitching surprisingly well out the gate. Harris has hit .377 against fastballs and an impressive .300 against off-speed pitches, although off-speed pitches have only made up 13.7 percent of the total pitches he’s seen so far.

With superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. potentially joining Ozzie Albies on injured reserve soon, the Braves need Harris to continue surprising everyone if they have any hope of catching Walker and the Mets.

Brian Goodwin Knows A Thing Or Two About First Impressions

Brian Goodwin Knows A Thing Or Two About First Impressions

When it comes to making a good first impression, Chicago White Sox outfielder Brian Goodwin does that well. 

The 30-year-old gave White Sox fans a treat in his debut on June 12. The White Sox bats came alive that day against the Detroit Tigers in a 15-2 win and Goodwin, a six-year veteran, made sure to join in on the fun.

He went 2-for-5 at the plate, hitting his first home run of the season and had five RBI. Goodwin became the 38th White Sox player to hit a home run in their debut.



“It felt good, first game, give the fans and teammates something to see,” Goodwin told the Chicago Sun-Times after his performance. 

That is the production Goodwin needed to have the opportunity to make an impact for a team who has a chance to play for a World Series title this season. This surging White Sox team will benefit from having a player like Goodwin, who can be productive at the plate and in the field. 

The start of the 2021 season has been a rollercoaster for Goodwin. He signed a minor league contract in February with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Our MLBbro received an invite to spring training in hopes of making the Opening Day roster. The talent-strapped Pirates decided to release Goodwin on May 3rd. At that time the veteran outfielder wondered when he would next play baseball.

But, that didn’t last too long. A day later,  he signed a minor-league contract with the White Sox and now he’s back in the majors.

“I wasn’t too happy about it, but it helped me keep that chip on my shoulder,” Goodwin said. “Signed here in May, and I’m still [ticked] off. I’m going to take it out on everybody else with how I play.”



After spending time in Triple-A Charlotte, Goodwin got the call up after Nick Madrigal went on the 60-day Injured List.

Before joining the White Sox, Goodwin played with four other MLB teams. His last stint in the league was in 2020 with the LA Angels and Cincinnati Reds. During the COVID shortened season he appeared in 30 games with the Angels and batted .242 with 17 RBI. The Angels traded him to the Reds and he finished the season playing in 20 games and batted .163.

Goodwin started his career with the Washington Nationals, who drafted him in 2011 out of the University of North Carolina.

He made his debut with the Nationals in 2016, appearing in 22 games and finished with an impressive .286 batting average. The next season, Goodwin appeared in 74 games, finishing with a .251 average. This brother quickly made an impact in his first few years. 

In 2018 he spent the first half of the season with the Nationals and was then traded to the Kansas City Royals. The Royals released Goodwin in March of 2019 and he was picked up by the Angels, where he had a career season. 



So as you can see, Goodwin has bounced around during his time in the Majors. He has a career .250 batting average and he’ll continue to look to make an impact while he’s on the field.



It all came full circle for Goodwin because the first time he was drafted was out of high school in 2009 and can you guess what team drafted him? The White Sox.

Now he’s a member of the team on the South Side that could make a deep run in the postseason.