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Marty’s musings: Opening week

With just a few days to go before Opening Day the most important news of the week is health-related. 

San Francisco Giants v Chicago White Sox Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting key pitching matchups.

Last week was nothing special, as teams simply prepare for the start of the season, however several stars went down to injury and will start on the IL.

News & Notes

30 /.300 - The expectation for White Sox young outfielder Eloy Jimenez, by homes and average, but an overzealous attempt at an outfield ball in a Spring Training game led to a disastrous ruptured pectoral tendon. Jimenez is expected to miss five or six months, a disappointing diagnosis for the South Siders.

$85 - Million dollar five-year deal that the Astros agreed to with Lance McCullers last week. The contract takes him through the 2026 season.

4 - Year, $82 million deal between catching ironman Salvador Perez and the Kansas City Royals. It’s the richest contract ever given out by the Royals, which says more about Kansas City than it does about Perez, though he is a reliably good everyday backstop.

1 - Month that Rockie’s starter Kyle Freeland is likely going to miss due to a shoulder strain. It’s bad news for a team that has been harried by bad news all offseason.

13 - MLB seasons for Gio Gonzalez, who announced his retirement last week. Gonzalez forwent a $1 million salary with the White Sox, deciding to hang-up-his-spikes after a decade-plus in the league.

3 - Days until the planned Opening Day! Thursday’s the day ladies and gents.

Pitching Matchups to Watch

A four-game marathon to start the season off properly:

Hyun-Jin Ryu (Blue Jays) v. Gerrit Cole (Yankees), Thursday, 1:05 ET

A divisional game with one of the best pitchers in baseball, what better way to start the season than with Gerrit Cole.

Max Fried (ATL) v. Aaron Nola (PHI), Thursday, 3:05 ET

It was Philly’s bullpen that was their Achilles’ heel in 2020, we’ll see how that’s changed in the first weekend, when they take on the powerful offense of the Atlanta Braves.

Jacob deGrom (NYM) v. Max Scherzer (WAS). Thursday, 7:09 ET

A perfect matchup for Opening Day night pits two divisional rivals and their aces against one another.

Zach Grienke (HOU) v. Chris Bassitt (OAK), Thursday, 10:07 ET

The Astros and Athletics face-off in Opening Weekend, with Zach Grienke taking the ball against Chris Bassitt, a matchup that is pretty emblematic as to the way each team puts together their roster.


Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano