MLB weekend summary: Byron Buxton adds to White Sox’s problems; Miguel Cabrera celebrates 3,000

Three weeks into the 2022 season, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of the Major League Baseball landscape. The teams have played about 10 percent of their schedules with another jam-packed weekend in the books. Trial sizes get bigger and hopes are gained or lost by fan bases across baseball.

While teams travel to start a new week, we wanted to sum up the weekend with some of the best moments from the last three days of baseball, as well as what’s on the deck for the coming week.

The highlight of the weekend

Pretty easy to call here, right? It’s Miguel Cabrera’s historic hit number 3,000. An unpopular (but sensible) deliberate walk and a rainstorm forced Cabrera to wait a little longer than we all would have liked, but he did the deed and became the 33rd member of the 3,000 hit club Saturday afternoon. Here’s the milestone against the Rockies:

“I could not even feel my legs in the first match,” Cabrera admitted to MLB.com’s Jason Beck after the match. “… This one was really special to me because I wanted to do this in front of my family, in front of my hometown here in Detroit. I’m glad I hit this one. I’m glad people in Detroit could see “Hopefully I can get more hits here. Thank God.”

Cabrera joins Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez as only players in history with 3,000 hits and 500 homeruns. Aaron (.305), Cabrera (.310) and Mays (.301) are the only members of this group with an average of 0.300 batting. Miggy is in a very, very, very exclusive club.

It should be noted that Cabrera is approaching another important milestone: 600 doubles. He sits on 599 career doubles and becomes only the 18th player in history with 600 two-baggers when he gets there. Aaron and Pujols are the only players with 3,000 hits, 600 doubles and 500 homers at the moment. Soon Miggy joins them.

Robinson Canó came in on Sunday with 2,631 career hits. He turns 40 by October. Unless Canó gets there, it takes a while before we see another reach 3,000 hits. Jose Altuve and Freddie Freeman are approaching 1,800 hits at the age of 32. Manny Machado turns 30 in July and ends the season with over 1,500 hits as long as he stays healthy.

White Sox continue to lose games, players

It was a brutal week for defending AL Central champion White Sox. They have lost seven games in a row, including six defeats in the last five days, and they were thrown by Byron Buxton on Sunday. Chicago has been beaten 45-15 over the seven-game losing streak, their longest since the end of 2019.

To add insult to injury, the White Sox lost another key player to injury during the losing streak. Eloy Jiménez will miss at least six weeks with a hamstring injury on Saturday. He obviously missed close to four months with a chest injury last season. Now he is looking at an even longer absence.

Chicago lost Lance Lynn to knee surgery in the spring training, then AJ Pollock (hoarding) and Lucas Giolito (slanting) in the early days of the regular season. Pollock and Giolito have since rejoined the team, yet many important players are missing on the South Side.

The season is young and AL Central is not exactly a powerhouse department. Still, the White Sox face some real adversity in the beginning. They have been losing one of their top hits for several weeks now and they seem to be finding a new way to lose weight every day.

France operates seafarers

Tyler Lawrence France was a 34th-round draft pick out of San Diego State in 2015, and went fittingly enough to Padres. He was sent to the Mariners in a seven-player deal on the August 31, 2020 deadline. The biggest name in the deal at the time was probably catcher / utility player Austin Nola.

Ty France got his first crack at full-time MLB action in 2021 and had a breakout season where he hit .291 / .368 / .445 (127 OPS +) with a 4.3 WAR.

Will France be a significant part of the first Mariners playoff team since 2001 this season? Both look that part right now.

The Mariners have had a solid start to the season and France are a big reason for that. On Sunday, France got the scoring started with a two-run homer in the first half. In the 10th inning, he hit a single to move the automatic runner to third base (the aforementioned runner eventually scored to force the 11th) and finished 3-to-5 in the Mariners’ 12-inning victory. They finished 8-2 at their first home game of the season.

It was a continuation for France as he has been on fire lately. In his last eight games, he is 17-for-34 (0.500!) With four homers and 13 RBIs. On the season, he cuts .375 / .459 / .656 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 16 games.

On deck

DeGroms follow-up MRI: The Mets have been one of baseball’s best teams in the beginning, and their starters took a 2.44 ERA into Sunday’s series final with the Diamondbacks. All this they have managed without Jacob deGrom, who went down with a shoulder injury in the spring training. He will have a follow-up MRI on Monday to check on the healing progress. From Deesha Thosar from New York Daily News:

If all goes well for deGrom after his first shoulder shots since he became aware of his injury, he should probably be allowed to return to throwing. DeGrom still has a full ramp-up ahead of him when he gets that permission to start baseball activities again.

“Everything is going very well,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday. “They are very happy with where he is right now.”

DeGrom, 34 in June, has not pitched since July 7 last year due to a series of injuries. He was excellent before the injury last year (1.08 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 92 innings) and he looked good in his two starts prior to the injury in the spring. The Mets have started well and their rotation has been fantastic without deGrom, but you can be sure they are counting the days until they get the double Cy Young winner back. Monday’s MRI is an important step in the process.

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays (four-game series starting Monday): These two AL East rivals met last week in Boston, where the Blue Jays took two of three. The season series shifts to Toronto this week, and it’s remarkable because several Red Sox players are unable to take the trip due to Canada’s COVID vaccine mandate for incoming international travelers, including right Tanner Houck. We will find out exactly where the shorthanded Red Sox will be this week when they place unvaccinated players on the restricted list on Monday.

Cubs vs. Brewers (series of three games starts Friday): When these two NL Central rivals met in the first series of the regular season, it was all Cubs. Chicago won two of three with the overall score at 18-9, and they hurt Milwaukee’s acclaimed rotation top three by Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta. Since that series, however, these three have been excellent together:

First Series vs Cubs

12 2/3

13

13

13

10

12

2

9.23

Since the Cubs series

33

21

9

9

8

39

2

2.45

Six of those nine runs came in a Peralta start against the Cardinals last week, so that’s six runs in that start and three runs in the other five starts the three have made since the Cubs series. Maybe the kids have their number. More likely it was just a blip and possibly a result of the short spring training. The Brewers will get a chance for revenge at home next weekend (it should be noted that only Burnes and Woodruff are scheduled to pitch that series, not Peralta).

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