AROUND THE HORN

Cecil Whig - - INSIDEBASEBALL -

The Di­a­mond­backs built pen­nant hopes around the all-around tal­ents of outfielder A.J. Pol­lock, who was MLB’s eighth-best player in 2015 ac­cord­ing to Fan­graphs’ Wins Above Re­place­ment. But Pol­lock broke his el­bow in an April 1 exhibition game. At best, he’s ex­pected to miss half the sea­son and at worst, all of it. That could be a death blow to the Di­a­mond­backs, who traded prospects and spent big cash in the ex­pec­ta­tion they’d con­tend now. …

It was a Story-book start for Colorado short­stop Trevor Story, who be­came the first player in MLB his­tory to hit seven home runs in his team’s first six games this sea­son. Four of those blasts went at least 425 feet. The pre­vi­ous best start was six home runs, a feat ac­com­plished by Larry Walker, Mike Sch­midt and Wil­lie Mays. …

Twenty-year-old No­mar Mazara and 25-year-old Tyler White also had great starts to their re­spec­tive ca­reers. Texas’ Mazara, the youngest player in base­ball, was called up on April 10 and went 3-for-4 with a home run in his de­but. White, for­merly a 33rdround draft pick, smacked three home runs in his de­but week for Hous­ton. …

Then, there was the suc­cess­ful Ma­jor League de­but of 32-year-old Matt Buschmann. The righthander pitched 1,326.2 in­nings in the mi­nors be­fore he pitched in the bigs, when he hurled a score­less frame vs. the Cubs on April 10. He’s the hus­band of ESPN an­chor Sara Walsh and a for­mer team­mate of David Price and Pe­dro Al­varez at Van­der­bilt. …

Also de­but­ing this week was 28-year-old St. Louis outfielder Jeremy Hazel­baker, who ended 2015 by hit­ting .333/.403/.594 with 10 home runs in 233 at-bats at AAA Mem­phis. The Car­di­nals have had luck with late-twenty-some­thing out­field­ers be­fore, and af­ter go­ing 0-for-1 in his de­but, Hazel­baker re­sponded by hit­ting in five straight games (in­clud­ing three starts) with a pair of home runs.

We un­der­stand that ESPN might want to get the Yan­kees on as much as pos­si­ble for the sake of its rat­ings. But was any­one sur­prised that the April 10 game was can­celed due to weather? A game in a dome or a warm-weather en­vi­ron­ment might have been the bet­ter pick. …

Fi­nally, White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton took a two-game break from his scorch­ing 9-for-20 start to at­tend to his wife, Katie, as she gave birth to the cou­ple’s first child, seven-pound, one-ounce Braden Eaton.

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