Feature Photo: Garrett Cooper, 1B, Yankees
(with Brewers in 2017 spring training)
And … we’re back!
Welcome to the second half of the MLB season.
You may remember me …returning to the fray of the Debutantes Ball after two weeks of unbelievable pasta, astounding chianti, sleek vaporettos, amazing ruins and wonders of the world, and refreshing Aperol spritzes on 100-degree days (aka Italy) – but no baseball.
Apparently, right around the time my flight to Venice took off from Philadelphia International Airport, the powers that be in baseball thought it would be the perfect time to call up 20 PLAYERS TO MAKE THEIR DEBUTS THAT WEEK (to put this number in some perspective, 22 players made their debuts the first week of the season).
To say I am forever indebted to the amazing Melissa Lockard for agreeing to take over the column for me in my absence would be an understatement … but having read her coverage I’m wondering if I may indeed be Wally Pipped (and if I am, I’d totally understand it.)
That said, I’m glad for her sake that Week 2 on the beat was MUCH slower, with just three debuts … and with the four-day All-Star break to begin my week back, there were only two debuts this week and I was able to ease into the return pretty gently (which may be more than I can say for at least one of this week’s debut players this week but hey… it gets better! The end of an infinity ERA is just one out away!)
Taking just a brief look at where we were at this point in time in 2016 as opposed to this year, 143 players of an eventual 258 had made their debuts through games of July 16 a year ago. This year, we head into Week 16 at 153 with two players “on deck” (players who have been called up but have not played through Sunday’s games).
Could this be a portent of a higher total at year’s end and a new record (well, “new record” being relative since we have just one year to go on)? Perhaps. Or maybe teams have simply been going to the well earlier and more often.
Time will tell, especially come September when the rosters expand to 40 players and the fun really begins (okay, okay, we’re already having fun).
Meanwhile, again, my endless thanks to the awesome Melissa. I am honored to be her colleague.
(Reminder! The MLB Debut table is also found by clicking the Spotlights Tab on our home page, and scrolling to the top sub-menu selection.)