As the 2023 regular season continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Mookie to return to the infield?
Dodgers superstar Mookie Betts is set to return from the paternity list today, manager Dave Roberts tells reporters (including Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic). Of more significance than Betts’s return, however, is where he’ll be playing: Roberts notes that he expects Betts to start “somewhere in the infield” upon his return, with shortstop standing as a distinct possibility. Betts came up through the minors as a second baseman, but moved over to right field upon reaching the majors in Boston to accommodate Dustin Pedroia.
Still, he’s appeared at the keystone in 35 games across six seasons of his career, including at least once during every season he’s spent in LA. Five of those appearances have already come during the young 2023 season. It’s a move that’s understandable for the Dodgers, who have a plethora of potential outfield options on the roster but few infield options outside of their starting unit, particularly with Chris Taylor currently sidelined by a left side injury and Miguel Rojas having exited last night’s game with a hamstring issue.
2. MLB Debuts in Oakland and Cincinnati:
Both the A’s and Reds will turn to one of the top young arms in their farm system to start today’s game. Oakland is calling up flamethrowing righty Mason Miller, while the Reds have already activated righty Levi Stoudt for his own debut.
Miller, 24, was a third-round pick in 2021 who’s turned heads with a triple-digit heater and a dominant 11-strikeout, zero-walk showing in his first start at Triple-A this season. Injuries have limited him to just 45 1/3 innings since being drafted in ’21, but A’s GM David Forst has already indicated that this is more than a spot start; Miller will remain in the rotation moving forward. Time will tell how he acclimates and what type of workload the A’s are comfortable with after he pitched just 31 2/3 innings between the minors and the Arizona Fall League in 2022.
It’s a different story for Stoudt, whose outing has already been confirmed as a spot start by Reds skipper David Bell. Like Miller, Stoudt a former third-round pick (2019). He’ll be the first of the four players Cincinnati acquired from the Mariners in exchange for Luis Castillo to make his Reds debut. He pitched to a tidy 2.63 ERA between Double-A (five innings) and Triple-A (19) following last summer’s trade and has a 4.09 ERA through three Triple-A starts in ’23, albeit with a more concerning 10-to-9 K/BB ratio.
Both Miller and Stoudt are potential long-term rotation options for their respective clubs, providing baseball fans a potential glimpse into each team’s future.
3. MLBTR Chat:
Yesterday, MLBTR’s Steve Adams fielded questions during a live chat (transcript here). If you still have unanswered questions about the beginnings of the 2023 season, you’re in luck, as MLBTR’s Anthony Franco will be hosting another chat today at 5pm CT. You can submit a question in advance here, and you can use the same link to check back in this evening and participate live once the chat begins. In addition, be sure to check out the newest episode of the MLB Trade Rumors podcast, which dropped earlier today!
Contract is going to be a disaster. Him and “Freeman” both.
Most of them are. You’re paying for the first 2 seasons and then overpaying for decline years
Freeman should be ok though. Won’t be as much decline at 35+
Agree that Betts’ decline is going to be much uglier.
Well we all can’t sign guys like Garcia can we?
Why is freeman in quotes?
Irony? Because his contract is expensive?
As if any of you have a clue
https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=miller002mas This is the correct link to Mason Miller’s bb ref page
Wow! Rays are going to be feeding today. In 11 innings, Stoudt has a 4+ ERA, a WHIP of 1.545 and 10 Ks, which is just under 1 K per inning.
This one belongs to the Reds
That walk ratio is a concern for Stoudt in that ballpark. Might be a premature call up.
So far I have been correct on the A’s have the worst record ever which they are on the pace for. The bigger question is why MLB is letting Fisher play AAA players only ????
Five years ago, Mason Miller had a 7.31 ERA as a sophomore at D-III Waynesburg University. Last week in AAA, he pitched 5 nearly-perfect innings w/ 11 Ks. His fastball averaged 100.0 MPH and his cutter averaged 95.7 MPH. Today he makes his MLB debut
Rush job if you as me.
Stoudt with the tidy 4-9-7-7-1-3 line today.