Each Monday morning I’ll be giving you reports on how former Notre Dame baseball players are faring in The Show. We’re just a week into the season, and already Irish alums are making their presence felt.
A.J. Pollock - OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Week 1 stats: .286 BA, .310 OBP, .500 SLG%, 8 hits, 3 2Bs, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 1 SB
Pollock was poised to have a breakout season last year, before breaking his elbow in early April. It cost him most of the season, but was able to play the final few weeks of the 2016 season. He’s back healthy and ready to help lead Arizona. Pollock is off to a nice start, as he’s helping lead the charge for the highest scoring offense in Major League Baseball. He socked his first home run of the year in the season opener against the Giants. He’s in a three way tie for second on the team in RBIs with five. Pollock is also playing a stellar centerfield for the DBacks. This is a player to keep your eye on for the rest of the season, as he tries to help Arizona have a bounce back campaign.
Jeff Samardzija - SP, San Francisco Giants
Week 1 Stats: 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 9 Ks, 2 BB, 10.13 ERA, 0-1
It was a rough first outing for the Shark, to say the least. Samardzija was touched up for six earned against the Diamondbacks on Thursday. It was the long ball that did him in, as the DBacks launched three off him. If he can limit the homers, he should be all right next time out. He’ll get a second stab at the Diamondbacks on Tuesday in San Francisco.
David Phelps - RP, Miami Marlins
Week 1 Stats: 3 G, 4.0 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 Ks, 1 BB, 6.75 ERA, 1-1
Phelps really only had one bad outing this past week. He gave up all three of his earned runs on Opening Day to the Washington Nationals, including two homers, one of which was to Bryce Harper. Phelps rebounded though his next time out and was able to pick up the win in relief on Thursday against the Nats.
Trey Mancini - 3B/1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles
Week 1 Stats: 3 G, 8 AB, .125 BA, .125 OBP, 1 RBI, 2 Ks,
Mancini’s stats aren’t as bad as they seem when you consider how sparingly he gets to play for the Orioles. He blocked at both corner positions by Manny Machado and Chris Davis, so regular playing time may be hard to come by right now. If something happens to shortstop J.J. Hardy, expect Machado to move to short and Mancini to slide in at third. He is Baltimore’s best hitting prospect, so if he’s able to garner any type of regular playing time thats when we’ll be able to judge him properly.
John Axford - RP, Oakland Athletics
Week 1 stats: N/A
Axford has yet to make an appearance out of Oakland’s bullpen.
Craig Counsell - Mgr., Milwaukee Brewers
Week 1 Stats: W-L: 2-5
Counsell’s Brewers are off to a slow start. The Brew Crew dropped three of four to the Colorado Rockies to start the season, and then lost two of three to the Cubs over the weekend. Milwaukee is in rebuild mode, so it could be a tough year for Counsell and the Brewers.