Each week, Kyle Glaser will take a look at the trends in major league baseball
Dylan Bundy | RHP | Orioles. Good things are worth waiting for, and the Orioles certainly had to wait for Bundy. Six years after drafting him fourth overall, they are reaping the rewards. The 24-year-old Oklahoman and 2011 Baseball America High School Player of the Year has emerged as the Orioles ace and is 5-1, 2.17 with a 1.05 WHIP. A long list of maladies—including Tommy John surgery, a lat strain, a calcification in his right shoulder and forearm stiffness—delayed Bundy’s ascent to the majors and took a toll on his arm strength, but he’s managed to be effective anyway. Once a 100-mph thrower, Bundy now averages just 92 mph on his fastball and tops out at 95, according to Brooks Baseball. Where he has been most effective is using his mid-80s-slider (.194 opponent average), mid-80s changeup (.125) and upper-70s curveball (.125) and is pounding the strike zone with all of his offerings to remain efficient. Bundy has thrown 64 percent of his pitches for strikes and lasted at least six innings in each of his seven starts.
Cody Bellinger | 1b/of | Dodgers. The Dodgers have 17 Rookie of the Year award winners in their decorated history, and none managed to do what Bellinger just did. The Dodgers No. 1 prospect belted five home runs in his first 11 games—the most by a Dodgers player in the modern era—and all but assured he will remain in Los Angeles even after everyone gets healthy. Originally supposed to be a short-term injury replacement, Bellinger is up to .326/.392/.717 through 12 games and was last week’s National League Player of the Week. He will man first base as long as Adrian Gonzalez (elbow inflammation, herniated disc) remains on the disabled list, and after that the Dodgers will get creative to keep Bellinger in the lineup.
Indians bullpen: The defending American League champs are back atop the AL Central thanks to the game’s best bullpen. Cleveland’s relievers boast a 1.79 ERA, comfortably ahead of the second-best White Sox’s 2.10 ERA mark. The Indians are also baseball’s only team without a blown save. Andrew Miller has yet to allow a run in 15.2 innings, Cody Allen has allowed one run in 13 innings, and Bryan Shaw (2.63 ERA), Dan Otero (3.18), Boone Logan (3.00), Zach McAllister (1.42) and Nick Goody (0 ER in 9.1 IP) have been exceptional in their roles.
Robert Gsellman | RHP | Mets. It’s always wise to be wary of pitchers who look like studs in their first 50 big league innings, as Matt Eddy pointed out in February, and right now Gsellman looks right at home in a grouping that includes Josh Geer, Stephen Fife and Brandon Cumpton. Gsellman is 2-2, 6.54 in seven outings this season, getting crushed to the tune of a .316/.376/.519 opponent slash line. Gsellman’s sinker isn’t sinking (.506 SLG against) and none of his secondary pitches have been good enough to work around it, resulting in a disastrous start to his official rookie campaign.
Matt Moore | LHP | Giants: The former No. 1 pitching prospect in the game just hasn’t been the same since having Tommy John surgery in 2014. The 28-year-old is in the midst of a third straight subpar season and his worst yet, entering Tuesday 1-4, 6.52 and with the most earned runs allowed in the National League. Moore’s strikeout rate is down, his walk rate is up, and opponents are punishing both his fastball (.309 AVG, .588 SLG) and curveball (.310 AVG, .448 SLG). While the Giants have numerous problems, Moore stands front and center in their shocking 11-22 start, worst in baseball.
Tigers bullpen: The worst bullpen in the majors belongs to Detroit, and by quite a large margin. Tigers relievers have a 5.93 ERA entering Tuesday, while second-worst Texas is a fair bit better at 5.61. Closer Francisco Rodriguez is 1-4, 8.39 with four blown saves in 11 changes and appears near the end at age 35. Young reinforcements Joe Jimenez (12.46 ERA), Warwick Saupold (6.23) and Kyle Ryan (7.94) haven’t helped, leaving Detroit woefully short on able bodies in the ‘pen.