Thursday, March 29. The day baseball returned for the 2018 season. Ian Happ, batting leadoff for the Cubs, sent the very first pitch of the year over the wall in right field. Balls were hit, fielded and thrown. Bases were stolen, and plays were made. Baseball is back, baby, and it Feels So Good.

Offseason Storylines

This offseason, lots of moves were made. In fact, lots of big moves were made. Dee Gordon, a second baseman who has previously led all of baseball in batting average, was signed by Seattle and moved to center field. Ichiro also returned home to Seattle for his 18th season.

The Philadelphia Phillies signed veterans Jake Arrieta and Carlos Santana to offset their youth movement. The Giants added Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. The three former Marlins outfielders all moved teams. Marcell Ozuna joined the Cardinals; Giancarlo Stanton was traded to the New York Yankees; Christian Yelich moved to Milwaukee. The Red Sox, in an effort to keep up with the Yankees, signed J.D. Martinez. The Angels signed Zack Cozart and traded for Ian Kinsler.

Safe to say, the MLB had a busy offseason. Will these moves pan out over 162 games? Will some stars align, and others flop? Right now, it's nearly impossible to tell, but I'm taking a look anyway.


Speaking of the Angels, they signed someone you might've heard of.

Shohei Ohtani? Ring any bells? If you follow baseball, it will. If not, you're probably scratching your head. Seemingly every year there is an Asian player who has dominated in the Japanese League and is making the transition. There's usually an all-out bidding war for their services. This year was Ohtani. However, Ohtani is no ordinary player.

He's the first player to come across the pond who can hit and pitch. In fact, no major leaguer has done that in recent memory.

Let's see how some of those moves played out in the opening series. The new look Angels took three out of four from the Athletics. Ohtani had one hit in five at-bats and pitched six innings with six strikeouts and three runs for his first major league win.

Kinsler was one for four, and Cozart is seven for nineteen with two doubles, a triple, one home run, three RBI's and three runs scored. Not bad.

The Mariners took two out of three from reigning AL Central champions, the Cleveland Indians. Dee Gordon, debuting in a new position, is four for twelve with a home run, an RBI and three runs scored. Transition made. Ichiro, the prodigal son, is two for nine with a run scored.

The Phillies only won one game against the Braves. Jake Arrieta has yet to play, and Carlos Santana is two for eleven with a home run and three RBI's. Trust the process, right?

The Giants, much to my surprise, took the first two games from the defending NL champion Dodgers before splitting the series.

Evan Longoria is currently *double takes* zero for fifteen. Andrew McCutchen is *double takes again* one for sixteen. How did they win two games?

The Cardinals lost two of three to the Mets, and Ozuna is only four for eighteen with two RBI's and a run scored. Probably not the time to panic yet, though.

The Yankees took the first two games against Toronto then lost the last two. Stanton debuted with two home runs and is currently four for fourteen with the home above runs and four RBI's.

The Red Sox took the final three out of four from division rival Tampa Bay. J.D. Martinez is only three for fifteen with two runs scored.

The Brewers swept the Padres in San Diego. Christian Yelich, one of a few new outfielders, is seven for eighteen with three RBi's.

Not a bad start at all.

Most of the splash signings have yet to take off really. Of course, this is at most a four-game sample size, so the numbers aren't telling the whole story. Check back when 40 games have been played, and you'll get a much better idea. For San Francisco and Los Angeles, don't despair. Longoria will have to get a hit at some point. Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, is bound to take off. Same goes for Martinez and the whole lot. These are stars, and even if baseball is a difficult game, they've proven they can excel. It just might take some time.