UConn in the MLB: Springer off to a slow start, Ahmed seeing the field

Houston Astros' George Springer dives safely back to first base as Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer waits for the throw during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

We are about two weeks into the MLB season and there are multiple former UConn Huskies currently in the show. Let’s check in with them and see how their seasons are going so far.

George Springer, Houston Astros

The 2017 World Series MVP is off to a slow start this season, with a slash line of just .173/.279/.288 so far in this young season. Despite leading off the season with a home run for the second straight season, he hasn’t really shown signs of life since then. In fact, that leadoff home run is the only one he has hit, as it has been all downhill from there. However despite Springer’s slumping bat at the top of the lineup, the defending champion Astros are still 9-4 and looking like they are picking up right where they left off. However, if they hope to grab another World Series title they will certainly need Springer to break out of his slump and become the fearsome leadoff hitter that he has proven to be. The Astros shouldn’t be too worried; many of the game’s best players have started off slow this season. Those stars will undoubtedly come around sooner rather than later; Springer will, too.

Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed has seen a sizeable amount of playing time this season and is off to a solid start, slashing .281/.361/.469 with one home run and eight RBI over 32 at-bats. Ahmed has started at shortstop in eight of the Diamondbacks 12 games this season, and only missed four games due to illness. A career .229 hitter, Ahmed is on the right track to have the best season of his career. With the Diamondbacks looking like a playoff team for the second straight year, a good season from Ahmed could be integral for Arizona as they try for their first title since 2001.

Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox relief pitcher has appeared in four games and pitched 3.2 innings, striking out four. Barnes hadn’t allowed a hit until he blew the save in the bottom of the 11th against the Miami Marlins on April 3 and has not made an appearance since. He was cruising through the top of the Marlins order, having stuck out Derek Dietrich and got Starlin Castro to line out to right until he proceeded to walk Brian Anderson and Justin Bour before giving up RBI double to Cameron Maybin to tie the game. Luckily for Barnes, Bour was thrown out at home preventing a walk-off for the Marlins and the Red Sox won the game two innings later. The Red Sox are playing like the best team in baseball, and Barnes is a good piece in their bullpen.

Scott Oberg, Colorado Rockies

Oberg has thrown 5.1 innings over five games so far this season, striking out six and walking two. Oberg only has one blemish on his resume, as he gave up one run in 0.2 innings of relief in a 8-4 loss to the San Diego Padres. Other than that, Oberg has been near perfect. He has struggled in the past, pitching to a career 4.93 ERA, so hopefully, this season will be a breakout one for him. The Rockies would like to make the playoffs for the second straight season, so any help they could get from the bullpen would help.

TRADE ALERT: LJ Mazzilli

The New York Yankees acquired middle infielder LJ Mazzilli from the New York Mets on Tuesday. LJ is the son of former centerfielder Lee Mazzilli, who had a successful 14-year MLB career. Interestingly enough, Lee also played for both New York teams- ten years with the Mets and one with the Yankees, winning the 1986 World Series with the Mets. LJ will move from the Las Vegas 51s to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to finish out the MiLB season.


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.