Are CJ Abrams and Trey Lipscomb Becoming a Staple In Washington’s Infield?

Are CJ Abrams and Trey Lipscomb Becoming a Staple In Washington’s Infield?

Don’t look now but the Washington Nationals are on the move in the National East. After a slow start that had them in the basement, the Nats are currently on a two game winning streak and at 4-6, they are 2.5 games out of first as of this writing. Washington, at this point, is in a transitionary period still trying to find talent to build their roster around. Well, we here at MLBbro.com not only found one… but possibly two MLBbros as a foundation to build on. 

 

They were easy to find, too. They happen to be playing on the left side of the infield at shortstop and third base. MLBbro CJ Abrams is already considered the one of the best shortstops in the National League and Trey Lipscomb has been a Godsend for the team since being called up on March 30th.

 

CJ Abrams on a historical offensive run along with his platinum glove?  

CJ Abrams had a coming out party in 2023 and is building off the momentum this season. The former No. 6 overall pick and key piece of the Juan Soto trade in 2022 was been one the best offensive weapons the Nationals had leading up to him leaving the lineup with a jammed finger he suffered last Friday. But his stats before the injury clearly dictate that Washington is gonna need him back sooner than later.

 

In the first seven games, the Nats struggled crossing the plate collecting only 27 total runs. Despite these offensive woes, Abrams had hitting slashes of .321/.387/.607 leading the team at the time in homers with two while adding five RBI and three stolen bases. MLBbro.com’s Jaelen Gilkey adds visual aids here to our MLBbro’s exploits early this season in the “Factz” segment… 

 

  

MLBbro.com on X: “FACTZ| The Elevation of Shortstop CJ Abrams Fuels Young Washington Nationals @SilkyGilkey x @CJAbrams01 📺: https://t.co/bjlbnUAdnr https://t.co/cqhhH5jpaD” / X (twitter.com)

Let’s go deeper with the CJ Abrams experience…

  • Strong slugging percentage with .607
  • Impressive OPS of .994
  • Solid OBP of .387 

The stat that the team and fanbase will be watching is the home run numbers. Abrams has hit two homers in six games which is 18 games quicker than last season.

 

 

Grant Paulsen on X: “CJ Abrams has gone deep twice in just six games, 18 games quicker than he hit his 2nd HR a year ago. https://t.co/alzDOsYIJK” / X (twitter.com)

 

Can Trey Lipscomb’s early MLBbro performance translate into a NL Rookie of the Year Award? 

MLBbro.com covered Trey “The Truth” Lipscomb over the weekend highlighting his on-base streak and ever-improving play in the field…

 

 

MLBbro.com on X: “Trey Lipscomb Impresses Nats With On Base Streak and Glove Work @SPORTWORLDORDER x @tlips03 🔗: https://t.co/hwd0PhH5k9 https://t.co/e6CCKThVQ4” / X (twitter.com)

 

But this was the tip of the iceberg after becoming the first Nationals rookie to have three hits and three steals in the same game. One of those steals included swiping home in a 8-1 win over San Francisco.

 

 

Nationals Homers on X: “WSH @ SF April 8, 2024 Trey Lipscomb steals Home https://t.co/ktRXDOobV3” / X (twitter.com)

 

Our MLBbro’s on-base streak was snapped and he fell into a mini 0-11 slump. However this 3-5 performance with an RBI got him back on track. “The Truth” has gained the confidence of the coaching staff enough for them to allow him to battle through a dip in production and he has rewarded them in tow.

 

Trey has a hitting slash of .265/.286/.353 with a homer, three RBI, five runs scored and four steals. That’s a lot of production to squeeze into 35 plate appearances as of this writing.

 

But then the staff wondered about past MLBbro pairs who have been successful at the shortstop and third base positions. These two get highlighted due to the fact that…they were championship level combos.

 

Ozzie Smith (shortstop) and Terry Pendleton (third base): 

If the seed of MLBbro.com founder and leader of the MLBbro movement was planted, it might have happened during the era of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 80’s. The lineup was loaded with MLBbros such as Vince Coleman, Willie McGee and Lonnie Smith who burned up the base paths. However, the two MLBbros who shut down the left side of the infield were Terry Pendleton and the “Wizard of Oz”, Ozzie Smith.

 

Pendleton was one of the steadier third basemen throughout his career and his 1985 partnership was one of the more exciting combinations not just in MLBbro history but in baseball history. The speed and athleticism of the two helped lead the Cardinals to the World Series losing to the Minnesota Twins led by MLBbro icon, Kirby Puckett. 

 

Even though Pendleton couldn’t help deliver a championship, he was vital to deep playoff runs.

 

 

Why Terry Pendleton Is So Important To St. Louis Cardinals! (youtube.com)

 

Ozzie Smith’s accomplishments to the game of baseball could fill up a whole article, about six videos and even his trade to St.Louis for Garry Templeton is reality show material. He could be partnered with any MLBbro and would qualify. He is considered the greatest defensive shortstop ever…period.

  • 13 Gold Gloves
  • Inducted into the Hall of Fame.
  • Worked himself into a solid switch hitter. After this 1985 playoff walk off homer, the power came from his left side if you ask a Dodger fan!

 

1985 NLCS Gm5: Ozzie Smith’s walk-off homer wins Game 5 (youtube.com)

 

While this duo had multiple chances over their careers to get to the World Series, only Ozzie Smith tasted the champagne.This duo however had a different outcome.

 

Derek Jeter (shortstop) and Charlie Hayes (third base):

These two collaborated the strong side of the infield to a World Series title in 1996 ending a championship drought dating back to 1978. Charlie Hayes was very instrumental in the victory with some timely hits throughout. He was also the one that sealed the championship catching the final out in Game 6…

 

 

1996 WS Gm6: The Yankees win the World Series (youtube.com)

 

It was the only championship of Hayes’ career but it was only the first for this MLBbro Icon.

 

Derek Jeter became the modern day New York Yankees legend with this MLBbro infield connection. Jeter parlayed this into a Yankees dynasty winning three more in 1998, 1999 and 2000. His final championship for the team came in 2009. His stats were impressive but his leadership in the spotlight of New York not seen since Reggie Jackson that makes him a legend. 

 

 

SBK_General_NC_Bet5Get200_na_na_30_1920x1080_No (youtube.com)

 

It will take some time for the Washington Nationals to catch up with the success of the St. Louis Cardinals of the 1980’s or the New York Yankees of the late 90’s to the 2000s but the future is now for the MLBbro connection at shortstop and third base.

Ozzie Smith, The Wonderous Wizard Of Web Where Greatness, Theatre And Poetry In Motion Lives

Ozzie Smith, The Wonderous Wizard Of Web Where Greatness, Theatre And Poetry In Motion Lives

Mark Gray remembers the greatest defensive shortstop to ever do it, MLBbro legend Ozzie Smith AKA The Wizard Of Oz.

The 13-time Gold Glove Award winner revolutionized the position in 19 seasons of wicked work with the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals, setting the all-time record for assists by a shortstop. Smith accrued 2,460 hits, 402 doubles and 1,257 runs scored. The switch-hitter also stole 580 bases.

 

 

 

Can A Few J.P. Crawford Adjustments Bring Some “Ozzie Smith” Type Magic To Seattle?

Can A Few J.P. Crawford Adjustments Bring Some “Ozzie Smith” Type Magic To Seattle?

 

When Seattle Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford contributed to the franchise’s first playoff appearance in 21 years, it wasn’t at the Chicago Cubs or Boston Red Sox level of ending a decades-long curse, but it was close.

The broken streak ended a stretch of 21 years of frustration for Mariners fans and the longest drought in major North American professional sports.

 

JP Crawford Is Vital to Seattle’s Playoff Push | There’s A Next Level For This MLBbro

 

 

Crawford, the last MLBbro standing for the Mariners, overcame a minor foot injury in spring training to help Seattle quietly get back in the American League West race this season, winning six of their last 10 games. Even though the team is currently 10-12, placing them fourth in the division, they are one game out in the loss column behind the second-place Houston Astros.       

 

How Are Mariners Winning Games?

 

J.P. Crawford is finding ways to get on base to spark the Seattle offense. His seven-game stretch has advanced his team from possible bottom feeders of the American League to contenders for making the postseason two years in a row.

 

 

Why Did JP Crawford Get Hot? 

 

Well, it came from adjustments to his swing three weeks ago in the Los Angeles Angels series. After a slow start to the season with only one hit and four strikeouts in his first four games, Crawford began to tighten up the mechanics in his swing. Even though the MLBbro is not releasing all of his secrets about the changes, his new and improved quick bat is leading to harder hit balls all over the field. 

Something he shared with The Seattle Times at the time…

 

“I think it’s just putting myself in a good spot to hit and not taking my body out to the right spot,”

 

“I’m not rushing,” he said. “I’m seeing the ball and letting it come to me instead of going to try and attack the ball – just stay back and using the whole field.” 

 

The improvements are not lost on Mariners manager Scott Servais, who was singing Crawford’s praises when he got Seattle on the right track on their first road trip with two RBI doubles to pick up a 5-3 win after falling down three runs.  

 

“J.P. Crawford, awesome,” Servais said. “I said about three or four days ago he had made a little bit of an adjustment and we’re seeing that play out day in and day out, right now.”

 

With his bat clicking, the awesomeness of Crawford’s full game is on display.  Regardless of how potent his run production is we know that he saves just as many runs with his lethal leather.

Just check out this play to stop a St. Louis rally…

 

 

Could J.P. Crawford Become This Era’s MLBbro Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith?

 

The Wizard Of Oz Redefined What It Meant To Be A Middle Infielder With “Pizzazz”

 

In the overall body of work?

No, not a chance…stop it. Ozzie Smith is the epitome and perfect illustration of a G.O.A.T. at a specific skill and position. The Wizard still has no equals with the glove at short.  His impact on the game of baseball goes way past statistics.

 

Even though the “Wizard of Oz” collected 13 consecutive National Gold Glove Awards, 15 All-Star appearances, 2,460 hits and 580 stolen bases for his career, his play drove the popularity of the entire sport of baseball. The 1980s was considered the golden era of baseball in ways of popularity. Ozzie was one of the driving forces. His athletic and acrobatic execution of the shortstop position, his incredible range and cat-quick, graceful movements made him the standard bearer for manning the position defensively. 

 

JP Crawford Has Ozzie Smith’s Leadership Qualities

 

However, what gets overlooked is the leadership and professionalism that Ozzie Smith brought into the locker room every day for years. Even with the fame and popularity, the MLBbro icon’s consistency when it came to preparation never waned.

 

This is where the comparison between the “Wizard of Oz” and the “Crawdaddy” can start. Crawford is also considered by many to be the supreme defensive shortstop in the game, winning a Gold Glove in 2021 and getting edged out last season by Astros rookie sensation Jeremy Pena. Who knows what the future holds for the 24-year-old, but he definitely can rack up some more Gold Gloves over the next half decade. 

 

As far as hitting goes, Ozzie Smith was a weak hitter early in his career – a one trick pony sort of speak — but Smith worked on his hitting and became a formidable slap hitter, which allowed him to get on base and use his speed to swipe bags and set the table for the run producers.

 

J.P. Crawford Continues His Rise Up The Shortstop Ranks

 

Years ago, Ozzie Smith was brought in to provide stability and leadership to an up-and-coming St. Louis Cardinals team, much like J.P. Crawford is doing for the Seattle Mariners today. This leadership for Crawford is driven by a desire to continue the tradition of the Black and brown baseball players going back to the Negro Leagues.

Bottom line, for the Seattle Mariners to be a player in the postseason for the second straight season, the team has to follow the lead of J.P. Crawford by continuing to work on the little things and adjust accordingly to add wins, much like they have of late. 

MLBbro.com Shines The Light On First All-Minority Starting Lineup In MLB History

MLBbro.com Shines The Light On First All-Minority Starting Lineup In MLB History

This past week, MLBbro icon Roberto Clemente celebrated his 88th birthday. His career is more known for his individual accomplishments, but what gets lost in a career and life that was taken from us far, far too soon is the historical movements of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1970s.

With the declining numbers of African-American players in Major League Baseball, history teaches that the Pirates foreshadowed the future of the international game that is all the rage of professional baseball today. In the 1971 season, Pittsburgh had two players from Panama, one from Cuba and another from Puerto Rico.

But what stands out to MLBbro.com is the five iconic MLBbros that were on that 1971 team that featured left fielder Willie Stargell, pitcher Dock Ellis, second baseman Dave Cash, center fielder Gene Clines and fill-in outfielder/first baseman Al Oliver.

While most MLB fans would remember the lightning fast St. Louis Cardinals trio in the 1980’s with Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Vince Coleman who dazzled opponents with the skill and lightning speed that brought the franchise a World Series back in 1982 and two other National League titles in 1985 and 1987.

 

 

But that pales in comparison to the events that took place on September 1st, 1971 when the Pirates filled their roster which was believed to be the first all-minority lineup in history. An event that at the time received no attention in the media due to an ongoing strike from the top two newspapers in Pittsburgh. The miniscule amount of attendance with little mention from the radio broadcast team, it rivals the Wilt Chamberlain 100 point game where the feat lives in infamy and folklore instead of the coverage it deserved.

Pirates broadcaster Nellie King talked about the day later on in 1986 to the Pittsburgh Press via History.com.

“I don’t think we even realized it until the second inning,” broadcaster Nellie King told the Pittsburgh Press in 1986 about the all-Black lineup. In its game coverage, United Press International highlighted the milestone, which came 24 years after Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.”

It was easy for the broadcasters to miss this slice of history due to starting pitcher Dock Ellis only last 1⅓ innings before being replaced. But that did not stop the Pirates from defeating the Philadelphia Phillies from winning 10-7 in Three Rivers Stadium.

With players out due to injuries and illness, Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh looked past color to playing the best players available. Something that Roberto Clemente Jr. mentioned to The New York Times.
“Murtaugh was a man that wanted to win, and it didn’t matter what formula he had to come up with, he was just looking at who was the best fit for that particularly,” said Roberto Clemente Jr., who was six years old at the time. “Obviously it was a historic moment, but I don’t think he really even thought about it. He just wanted to have the best lineup to win that game.”

While this page in history was mostly overlooked, it was hard to overlook the history the Pirates made in the 1971 World Series when they won the championship beating the Baltimore Orioles in seven games. In the series clinching game on the road, the Pirates played six of the eight position players who were considered black including all of the outfielders.

 

Roberto Clemente: Right Field

One of the greatest players ever in baseball history and easily in Pirates franchise history. He was a right field magician whose cannon right arm landed him 12 consecutive Gold Glove awards spanning from 1961-1972. But in the World Series, Clemente was just on another level that not many could achieve in postseason history, much less the World Series.

 

 

With a batting average of .414 along with his Gold Glove, the only question was which game did the MLBbro icon lock up the MVP award.

 

Gene Clines: Center Field

This MLBbro’s playing situation shows how deep this Pittsburgh Pirates team was in 1971. Gene Clines only played in three games in the World Series but was the starter in Game 7. How good was he? He earned MVP votes the next year by batting .334 with 104 hits in only 107 games. While others seemingly did not see the magnitude of history, Clines did.

“I got to the ballpark and one of our batboys made the comment, ‘The Homestead Grays are playing tonight,’” Clines told George Castle for his book, “When the Game Changed.” “That thought stayed in my mind, and didn’t dawn on me until they were playing the National Anthem. I looked to my left and I saw Stargell and I looked to my right and I saw [Roberto] Clemente. I turned around and I started looking at all the positions. I said, ‘Now, I understand what the batboy said earlier that afternoon.'”

He passed away in January of this year at the age of 75.

 

Willie Stargell: Left Field

The player fans famously knew as Pops achieved superstar status in 1971 by edging fellow MLBbro icon Hank Aaron for the home run title 48 to 47. He also won two NL Player of the Month awards as well. Even though he struggled at the plate in the NLCS and the World Series, he drew seven walks to still make an impact at the plate. In Game 7, Stargell scored the winning run in the series clinching 2-1 victory. His single in the 8th inning got him on base to score off a Jose Pagan double.

RIP to the most iconic MLBbro outfield trio in Major League Baseball history.