UConn in the MLB: Springer stays hot for dominant Astros


Houston Astros’ George Springer (4) celebrates after a RBI single as Seattle Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon (9) watches during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

The 2018 MLB season is drawing to a close and several former UConn baseball players are still in the hunt for October. How are they doing?

CF George Springer, Houston Astros

Injuries and a summer slump have held Springer back from replicating his 2017 campaign, but he has still been an instrumental part in Houston’s success this season. Springer has been exceptional as of late, batting .351 in the month of September and the Astros are 16-4 in that stretch. For the full season Springer is batting .266 with 21 home runs, 69 RBI and 98 runs scored in 136 games as the leadoff hitter for the reigning World Series Champions. Despite having to fend off Oakland for the last few weeks, the Astros are getting closer to locking up a second consecutive AL West crown and 100-win season as they seek to defend their World Series title.

RP Matt Barnes, Boston Red Sox

2018 has been a career year for Barnes, as his 3.34 ERA and 94 strikeouts are both career highs and his 59.1 innings pitched has made him one of the most frequently used pitchers out of the Red Sox bullpen. A rough August saw Barnes’ ERA blow up from 2.25 to 3.51, but he has rebounded in September with three straight scoreless appearances and getting his sixth win of the season. Barnes figures to be an important piece for Boston as they head into the postseason with 105 wins (and counting) and their third consecutive AL East division title.

SS Nick Ahmed, Arizona Diamondbacks

Ahmed is another former Husky who is having a career year in The Show. He has set new career highs in games played (148), runs (60), hits (119), doubles (32), home runs (16) and RBI (68), all while being one of the best defensive shortstops in the MLB. Ahmed has struggled lately, batting just .206 in September as the Diamondbacks have gone 5-16 this month to fall out of the playoff race despite contending for their division for most of the season.

RP Scott Oberg, Colorado Rockies

Oberg has quietly had a strong season for a Colorado bullpen that has struggled mightily all year. His seven wins, 2.65 ERA and 0.99 WHIP are first, second and tied for first amongst Rockies relief pitchers this season. He has allowed just eight earned runs since April and has a 2.33 ERA since the All-Star break. With 54.1 innings pitched, he is one of the most important contributors to a Colorado team that is clinging to the fringes of playoff contention, sitting a game and a half behind St. Louis for the second wild card spot with seven games remaining.

OF John Andreoli, Baltimore Orioles

Andreoli broke into the league back on May 23 with the Seattle Mariners and played sparingly with them before being claimed on waivers by Baltimore. In 18 games with the Orioles, Andreoli is hitting .224 with two RBI. In 21 games between the two teams his numbers stand at a .222 batting average with two RBI and four runs scored.

Having a handful of UConn alumni (including Avery Point alumnus Rajai Davis) in the playoff hunt will make these next few weeks of baseball very interesting. There are a couple of potential matchups between former Huskies that are enticing and would be very exciting to watch!

Neil Simmons is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at neil.simmons@uconn.edu.

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