NL East Report: Stanton Homerless, Halladay Rocked, Upton and Harper Blasting Off
Team News and Notes
Atlanta Braves (6-1)
The Braves currently sit in first place in the NL East, and new addition Justin Upton is a major reason why. The 25-year-old has batted .423/.448/1.192 to start the season, with six bombs and eight RBI. The other half of the Upton brothers, B.J., has struggled to hit himself out of a barn batting just .120 to date. On the mound, the wily veteran Tim Hudson is back to work with a record of 1-0, and a 3.27 ERA to start the year. Paul Maholm hasn’t given up a run in 12 2/3 innings, and Mike Minor was solid in his first start as well, while youngster Julio Teheran struggled.
Washington Nationals (4-2)
Bryce Harper was the story during the opening week as he belted three home runs, including two on Opening Day. Stephen Strasburg fired seven shutout innings on Opening Day, but got roughed up for six earned runs in his second start. Gio Gonzalez, Ross Detwiler, and Jordan Zimmerman all went six innings in their starts and allowed just one earned run combined.
Philadelphia Phillies (2-5)
Opening Day starter Cole Hamels got pounded over his first two starts of the season, giving up an astounding 13 earned runs over his 10 innings of work. Conversely, Cliff Lee twirled an eight inning gem, allowing just two hits and striking out eight in his first start. Ryan Howard has started out slow, batting .148 with 10 punch-outs in just 27 at-bats. Chase Utley, on the other hand has burst out of the gate on fire. The second baseman is batting .370/.400/.630, with one home run, seven RBI and two doubles. Lastly, are we seeing the beginning of the end for Roy Halladay? The righty has seen a drop in his velocity, and has an unsightly ERA of 14.73 over his first two starts of 2013.
Miami Marlins (1-6)
The Marlins have stumbled out of the gate, and did not score a run until the second inning of their third game of the season. Giancarlo Stanton has struggled with little support around him, and is batting .174/.367/.261 with no home runs or RBI, and just one run scored. Jose Fernandez made his debut against the Mets on Sunday, and dazzled for the first five innings, striking out eight, but received a no-decision.
Braves: Jonny Venters (elbow) was shut down for four weeks on April 2, and may be out for the first two months. Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery) and Brian McCann (offseason shoulder surgery) were placed on the DL on March 29, both retroactive to March 22. McCann may start a possible rehab assignment by mid-April, and could be activated by late April, while Beachy could return by midseason. Freddie Freeman was placed on the DL with a strained oblique on April 7, and may need 2-3 weeks to recover.
Phillies: Delmon Young (ankle) played the outfield for the first time this spring on April 1, with the hope that he returns sometime in May.
Marlins: Casey Kotchman was placed on the DL, retroactive to April 4, with a strained hamstring. Logan Morrison is currently on the 60-day DL, as he recovers from a torn patella tendon that required surgery last September. Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi are both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation. Alvarez has resumed a throwing program, and could return by early May, while Eovaldi is out indefinitely.
Upcoming Schedules (4/8-4/14)
Nationals: (CWS, 4/9-4/11), (ATL, 4/12-4/14)
Braves: (@FLA, 4/8-4/10), (@WSH, 4/12-4/14)
Phillies: (NYM, 4/8-4/10), (@MIA, 4/12-4/14)
Marlins: (ATL, 4/8-4-10) (PHI, 4/12-4/14)
Carlos Ruiz: The Phillies backstop will continue to serve his 25-game suspension to start the season.
About the Author: Dan Valis
I am a staff writer for Mets Merized Online. I am a Mets team analyst with a focus on the minor league system, as well as the major league club. I am a lifelong New Yorker who was born and raised to be a Mets fan. The ups and downs of being a Mets fan is what makes following this team so much fun, but at times so frustrating. You can follow me on Twitter @BgAppleMetsTalk.
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