As teams get settled in for the long haul of the Major League Baseball season, the newswire has been extremely busy this week from suspensions to extensions to a star player being reinstated. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from around the game.
Fernando Tatis Jr Reinstated
After serving his suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, Fernando Tatis Jr is officially back. On Thursday, the San Diego Padres reinstated him from the restricted list. With Xander Bogaerts manning the shortstop position, Tatis Jr will move to right field this season.
In his last season, 2021, Tatis hit .282/.364/.611 with 42 home runs, 97 runs batted in, 99 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases in 478 at bats. Since then, he has endured a few surgeries (left wrist and shoulder) and the shame of an 80-game drug suspension.
While it remains to be seen how he acclimates himself to MLB pitching, he certainly performed well in minor league games. In 39 at bats, he hit .515/.590/.1.212 and had a span where he hit seven home runs in eight games.
While the Padres have not had a dominating start to the season, they still have the second-best odds of winning the NL West at +135.
Scherzer Suspended 10 Games
In a bizarre turn of events, future Hall-of-Fame pitcher Max Scherzer was ejected from a game Wednesday for a foreign substance violation, and the pitcher has received a 10-game suspension as a result. Somewhat shockingly, Scherzer has decided not to appeal the suspension.
While Scherzer claims that he followed the letter of the law and the substance was simply sweat and rosin, the umpires did not see it that way and removed him from the game. As a result of the ejection and subsequent suspension, he will be out until at least May 1.
In four games this season, Scherzer is 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and he has 17 strikeouts in 19.1 innings of work.
As a team, the Mets are 13-7 and sit in second place behind the Braves in the NL East. New York is +1400 to win the World Series, seventh-best in baseball.
Pair Of Extensions For Star Pitchers
There were two significant extensions this week for a couple star pitchers. First, the Minnesota Twins agreed to a four-year extension worth $73.5 million with right-handed pitcher Pablo Lopez.
Acquired from the Marlins in the offseason, the 27-year-old Lopez is 1-1 in four starts with a 1.73 ERA, 0.808 WHIP, and he has 33 strikeouts in 26 innings of work.
His performance has helped get Minnesota off to a fast start as they sit atop the AL Central rankings. They have the best odds of winning the division currently at -140.
The Cincinnati Reds also signed an extension with a young hurler as they inked Hunter Greene to a six-year deal worth at least $53 million. There is an option for 2029 as well worth $21 million.
At just 23-years-old, Green has shown that he has the stuff to be a top-of-the-rotation arm. In 28 career starts, he is 5-13, but he sports a 4.42 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and he has struck out 188 in 142.2 innings.
Between Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft, the Reds have a phenomenal collection of young starters as they hope to contend in the near future. Still, that window of contention is still expected to be a year or two away as they are just +7000 to win the NL Central this year, worst in the division.