LEADING OFF: Samardzija, Kluber go for 1st wins
A look at what’s happening all around the major leagues today:
KRIS-MAS IN CHICAGO
Prized prospect Kris Bryant looks to be joining the Chicago Cubs. Multiple outlets reported that Bryant will be called up before today’s home game against the San Diego Padres, clearing the way for his much-anticipated major league debut. The Cubs would not comment, but Bryant wrote on Twitter that his ”dream is coming true” and that he is ”so excited for this journey.”
White Sox right-hander Jeff Samardzija has had a rough beginning with his new team, giving up nine runs over 13 innings in outings against division foes Kansas City and Minnesota. Earning that first win won’t be any easier this time. He is set to face the NL Central champion Tigers and David Price. The lefty brings a spotless record into the game. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 14 1-3 innings this season.
Miami manager Mike Redmond says it’s ”always a touchy situation” to put a slumping veteran on the bench. He’s giving Jarrod Saltalamacchia a ”couple of days to regroup” after the catcher started out 2 for 22 with 11 strikeouts with two recent throwing errors. Starting in his place has been the catcher the Marlins are counting on for their future, rookie J.T. Realmuto.
American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber will make his third start of the season for Cleveland – at Minnesota – and he’s still seeking his first victory. The right-hander has pitched well, with 17 strikeouts over 13 2-3 innings and a sparkling walks-and-hits-per-inning-pitched ratio of 0.95.
The Atlanta Braves open a nine-game, three-city road trip with an interleague series against the Toronto Blue Jays, a rematch of the 1992 World Series. Braves right-hander Julio Teheran (2-0, 1.50 ERA) faces Toronto righty Drew Hutchison (1-0, 6.97) in the opener. Atlanta will also visit the New York Mets and Philadelphia on their 10-day trip.
After dropping their first series of the season at Minnesota, Kansas City heads home to face the Oakland Athletics. Dropping two of three to a struggling team and losing right fielder Alex Rios to a broken left hand has done nothing to shake the confidence of the defending AL champions. ”These guys feel like they can win any ballgame as long as they still have an out left,” left-hander Jason Vargas said.