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MLB: Opening Week Roundup

Leg injuries to Kyle Schwarber have poked a hole in the Cubs' roster. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Leg injuries to Kyle Schwarber have poked a hole in the Cubs' roster. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)


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By Brendan O’Connell

Leg injuries to Kyle Schwarber have poked a hole in the Cubs' roster. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Leg injuries to Kyle Schwarber have poked a hole in the Cubs’ roster. (Courtesy of Wikimedia)

History in the Making

Many remember the historic starts that athletes like Dwight “Doc” Gooden and Odell Beckham, Jr. enjoyed as they began their respective careers. Countless other professionals have had brilliant entrances into the highest level of action in their sport, with varying degrees of success over the course of time.

In the first week of this baseball season, the new player to watch is Trevor Story.

The Colorado Rockies’ shortstop has hit seven home runs in just his first six career games – an MLB record. With a .333 batting average and a 1.468 OPS, Story has driven in 12 runs and homered off of Zack Greinke (twice) and Shelby Miller, just to name two.

At twenty-three years of age, Story is tasting his first action at the major league level after spending years in the minors. His seven dingers through his team’s first six games surpasses Larry Walker, Mike Schmidt, and Willie Mays (each with six) for the record, and is more than the number of home runs that sixteen teams have tallied thus far this year.

What Story is doing is remarkable and he is certainly deserves of all the attention he is receiving, especially because of its historic merit. The most intriguing aspect of this story is whether Story can have success through the year and beyond – something his franchise, the Rockies, has had a lot of difficulty with in recent memory.

Schwarber Out For Season

A player who burst onto the MLB scene last season in a similar way to Story, Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs, collided with fellow outfielder Dexter Fowler during a game on Thursday, and has since been shut down for the entire season.

Diagnosed with a torn ACL and LCL in his left leg, Schwarber will miss the rest of the 2016 campaign, but has vowed to come back “better…bigger, faster, stronger.”

Schwarber, a young, versatile player who can serve as an outfielder or as a catcher and can hit for power and for contact, will be “replaced” by a platoon of players.

Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella and David Ross will all likely see their roles increase as a result of Schwarber’s absence. Soler has a chance to take Schwarber’s place in the outfield if he performs well, as he has been given the first few opportunities to fill the role by Joe Maddon in the games without Schwarber so far.

The Cubs, who were preseason favorites to win their division and possibly a World Series, now face a tougher road with one of their bright, budding stars sidelined for the final 159 games of the regular season. However, they still have the talent to be the best team in the NL Central, despite the caliber of division rivals like the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Now it is up to players like Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester to carry an even heavier load than expected and take the team to where it hasn’t been in over a century – the “promised land” of World Series champions.

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