Juan Soto in historic company, Indians' quiet winter looming large and everything else we learned this week in MLB
Here's what you need to know from the last seven days of MLB action
We'll be taking a look at the most interesting takeaways every week this MLB season so check back every Sunday for our recap. Now, here's what we learned from Week 10 in MLB:
Soto is (still) putting up historic numbers
After finishing last season as the runner-up for National League Rookie of the Year, Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto is following up his dominant first season with numbers that are just as good. Soto, at only 20-years-old, is again one of the bright spots to an otherwise under-performing Nationals team. He overcame a bit of a slump early on this season, and he's now put up truly historic numbers in the first 162 games of his career:
Soto's recent 14-game hitting streak was the longest by an NL player 20 or younger since Jose Reyes (17 straight) in 2003. As the Nationals look to , the team will be relying on both Soto's bat and glove to continue to keep up the impressive performance.
Indians' quiet offseason haunting them
The Cleveland Indians are the reigning American League Central division championships. In fact, they've won the division handily the past three seasons. Now, they're just barely staying afloat. During the winter, the Indians Yan Gomes to the Washington Nationals and also dealt Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso. They also lost Josh Donaldson, Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen to free agency.
But their worst part of the offseason was the fact they didn't sign a single free agent to a big-league contract. The AL Central is not as competitive as other divisions in MLB, but the Minnesota Twins made moves to better themselves (adding Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez, C.J. Cron) this winter and the Chicago White Sox, in the midst of a rebuild, are playing better than many imagined. When playing against teams that have a .500 or better record, the Indians are 8-15 as compared to the Twins' 11-10.
With early season injuries to Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis, along with injured list stints for starters Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger, the Indians now find themselves entering the 10th week of baseball 10 1/2 games back of the Twins. And, entering Sunday, the White Sox are just a game behind Cleveland.
Through 58 games, the Indians have won just half of them. The team has a minus-14 run differential, and ranks in the bottom half for all the main offensive statistics: .227 batting average (28th-worst), .314 OBP (21st), .371 slugging percentage (28th) and .685 OPS (26th). The Indians' 61 home runs this season rank at 25th, while the rival Twins' 108 home runs are the most in MLB. Considering these numbers, it's safe to say that a quiet offseason wasn't a good decision for the Indians. There are a, but ultimately, they're going to be fighting from behind.
Meadows proving Rays won the Archer trade
Ever since Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Austin Meadows returned from a stint on the injured list where he missed 15 games (sprained thumb), he's been crushing it at the plate. Meadows finished atop the American League this past week in hits (15), runs (9) and RBI (11). It's not just a good week either, Meadows' numbers for the month of May were incredible.
Meadows, a former Pirates' top prospect, was part of the trade package last year that sent right-hander Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Archer is 5-8 during his time in Pittsburgh, and has a 5.66 ERA this season. Meadows' hot start this season is an indicator that the Rays are winning the Archer trade.
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