Taijuan Walker has silenced many of his haters this season by taking the city that never sleeps by storm. He has the seventh-lowest ERA in the Major Leagues and struck out a career-high 12 batters during his start this week against the Chicago Cubs.
Through the first three months of the season, Taijuan Walker has been the steal of the off season. The Mets were the only team to offer him a contract, which is for 2 years and $20 million with a player option for the third.
“Everything’s worked out well for everyone,” Walker told reporters. “I’m glad the Mets were my only offer.
Taijuan Walker's 2.12 ERA is the second-lowest in history by a Met in his first 12 starts with the franchise.
The lowest: Al Leiter, who produced a 1.70 ERA over his first 12 starts in 1998.
In Tuesday’s start against the Cubs, Walker struck out a career-high 12 batters and lowered his ERA to 2.12 which is good for seventh in the league. It was his third start this season without allowing a walk and he has caught fire since returning from the Injured List.
In the four starts since his return, Walker has thrown 24 innings and struck out 31 hitters.
His Black Knight rotation mate Marcus Stroman has been the Andre 3000 to Walker’s Big Boi. In his last two starts, Stroman has thrown 13 innings with 15 strikeouts and only one earned run.
Taijuan will get the Fathers Day start for the Mets as they travel to the nation’s capital to take on Josh Harrison, Josh Bell and the rest of the Nationals.
2. Mookie Betts
We have high expectations for Mookie, being that he is the best player in all of baseball. He got off to a slow start this season for his standards, but during the past week, Betts showed flashes of his MVP-caliber skills.
He’s hit .318 with three home runs, four RBI, eight runs, five walks and a .727 Slugging Percentage in his last seven games.
Bett’s has four multi-hit games this month and on Tuesday night against the Phillies, it was the 7th inning of a 3-3 game when Mookie stepped to the plate and blasted a solo home run.
It was the first time he hit a homer with Dodger stadium completely full.
Mookie travels to Arizona this weekend to take on the Diamondbacks who will be rocking their city connect uniforms on Friday night.
3. Marcus “Rock Any Park U” Semien
Marcus Semien has kept his hot bat from the month of May going in June. The reigning American League Player of the Month is batting .263 with three home runs this month, including a leadoff bomb Wednesday night against the Yankees’ Garrett Cole.
Through his last seven games, Semien is hitting .286 with three home runs, six RBI, seven runs and a stolen base. He is on track to start at second base for the American League All-Star team and is in the middle of what is a career year leading up to his free agency this offseason.
Bobby Bradley has been rocking out since joining Cleveland on June 5th as they have been riddled with injuries and he has given them exactly what they have been missing: power at the first base position. Thursday Bradley hit his fourth home run in just 10 games this season. He is now batting .375 with four home runs and 11 RBI.
Bradley has also helped the Indians stay afloat in a wide-open American League. Since his call up they have a record of 8-2 and sit in second place in the American League Central, four games behind Tim Anderson’s White Sox while being only a game back of Michael Brantley and the Houston Astros for the final Wild Card spot.
After finishing a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, Bradley will travel to Pittsburg to take on Ke’Bryan Hayes and the Pirates.
Justin Upton was named Rob Parker’s Home Boi Highlight after batting .360 with 10 runs scored and two home runs last week. He recently moved to the leadoff spot in the Angels lineup and raised his batting average from .120 to .232.
MLBbro.com reporter Rachel Hill has some words for Dodgers analyst David Vassegh of 570 AM, who blamed the fact that LA isn’t totally obliterating the rest of the NL West — and actually has some competition — on the supposed “failures” of former MVP and two-time World Series champion Mookie Betts.
Mookie Betts hasn’t been flexing the biggest stick these days, but his value as a baseball player can’t be overlooked as he hit his sixth homer and then captivated the highlight reels by imitating Neo from The Matrix, to complete a catch and throw DP on Thursday night.
Web gems like these are commonplace for Betts. He’s almost become underappreciated, but we can never get enough of this Black Knight’s royal exploits at MLbbro.com
All Betts Are Off For LA Outfielder As Slump Continues
Mookie Betts’ numbers do not resemble those from years past, and his struggles are becoming more noticeable. This season through 45 games, Betts is batting .247 with 44 hits, 18 RBIs, and 27 runs.
Seems like good numbers, right?
Well not if you are familiar with the back of this former MVP’s baseball card.
Betts led the Dodgers to their first World Series Championship in 32 years during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, where he batted .292 with 64 hits, 47 runs, and 39 RBIs in only 55 games.
His success garnered him a second-place finish in the National League MVP race, while also earning him a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award. Don’t forget his elite performance against the Tampa Bay Rays, where he homered to open the series in Game 1 and to close the series in Game 6.
It’s still early in the season, but Betts is moving past the slow start zone into “down year” territory.
Fans point to his new vegan diet as the culprit to his struggles.
For those clamoring for an explanation, blame it on father time.
Betts appeared in 145 or more games in four of his previous five seasons. That’s called wear and tear on the body. Adding insult to injury is just that, injuries!
In April, he missed four games due to back discomfort. Then he took an upper 90s mile per hour fastball to the inside of his elbow, which left him writhing in pain.
Don’t forget about the unfortunate two-ball tag that left men cringing across the globe.
Over the weekend, Betts missed two of three games due to discomfort in his left shoulder, which he later confirmed after telling the media that the injury has been bothering him throughout the month of May, but that is not the reason for his poor performance as sometimes you do not play well.
He told the Los Angeles Times, “I have shown that I can play at those high expectations and live by them. I am not mad at it by any means, as I do not mind expectations. It does not scare me at all.”
Billy Hamilton Showing That His Wheels & Wood Are Still Active
Billy The Slid put on a show this past weekend as he hit home runs in consecutive games to help his Chicago White Sox sweep the Baltimore Orioles.
After flexing his newfound power, the grizzled young veteran displayed his wheels in childlike fashion Tuesday night, with an inside-the-park home run.
However, you word the play, it was still impressive.
The guy has always been the prototypical centerfielder whose speed can cover all sorts of range while also going from base to base in a millisecond. Problem is, he couldn’t reach base.
Baseball insiders have always created the narrative that if Hamilton could figure it out at the plate and get on base more, he would take his current team to the next level and his performance is proving everyone right as the Chicago White Sox are leading the American League Central Division at 33-22.
Hamilton’s resurgence has contributed to his changed persona as he is going from “Billy the blur” to “Billy bats” through two months of play. If he can keep this production up, then those dreams of bringing another World Series Championship to the Southside of Chicago will soon come to fruition.
Roman Quinn Out For The Season With Ruptured Achilles
Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Roman Quinn will undergo surgery this week on his left Achilles tendon. His expected recovery time ranges from nine to 12 months per source.
It seems the 28-year-old suffered the apparent injury as he was rounding third base. After falling to the ground, he showed the heart of a champion by hopping on one leg to score the tying run on May 29 vs. the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
With a skillset predicated on speed and agility, seeing him go down in that manner is heartbreaking as this is the second time he has suffered an Achilles tear, with the first tear taking place on his right side back in 2013.
His injury history, including both Achilles, reads like a laundry list.
He had a torn quad, a torn ligament in his middle finger, a finger contusion, a strained ligament in his elbow, an oblique strain, a groin strain, a broken toe, and a concussion, to name a few.
The speedy switch hitter through 28 games was averaging .173 with four stolen bases and two RBIs. In 512 career plate appearances, he is batting.228/,306/.355.
While wishing you a speedy recovery, we at MLBbro.com look forward to seeing Quinn back on the diamond in no time.
Jala Norman gives her take on MLB’s marketing approach as it pertains to building the future generations of Black fans. She also speaks about how valuable Mookie Betts and Andrew McCutchen’s Disney Puppy Dog Pals appearance could be for MLB.