Diamondbacks Lefty Robbie Ray On His Performance In Loss To Reds

Jason Behnken/Associated Press

Atlanta Braves: RHP Julio Teheran's performance

The burgeoning Atlanta Braves have given their fans cause for optimism. It hasn't come from right-hander Julio Teheran, who gave up four earned runs with three walks and three strikeouts in his first start against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Worryingly, Teheran's average fastball velocity was 89.9 mph, compared to a career mark of 92.3. The Braves wound up winning the game, 8-5, but Teheran's lack of zip and results should raise eyebrows in Atlanta.

                  

Miami Marlins: A lack of power

The Miami Marlins aren't built to win in 2018. Quite the opposite. The new ownership group appears intent on tearing down the roster, adding cost-controlled pieces and engaging in a long-term rebuild. 

To their credit, the Marlins won two of their first four games against the superior Cubs. There's talent in Miami.

Is there power after the club sent Giancarlo Stanton and his 59 homers to the Yankees? That's doubtful. Marlins hitters mustered only one home run through those four games along with a middling .304 slugging percentage.

Add the fact that Marlins Park was the fifth-least homer-friendly yard in baseball last season, per ESPN's Park Factors, and this team may combine for only a few more dingers than Stanton alone. 

                   

New York Mets: LHP Steven Matz's performance

Right-hander Noah Syndergaard gave up four earned runs and two homers in his 2018 season debut with the New York Mets. He also struck out 10 and showed signs of being the ace New York needs him to be after he missed most of 2017 with a lat muscle injury.

Lefty Steven Matz, who also wrestled with injuries last season, put forth a less promising first start. 

Matz battled command issues from the word "go" and walked three in four innings while allowing four hits, two home runs and three earned runs in a 5-1 loss to the Cardinals. 

The Mets will rise or fall on the strength of their starters. Matz is a big part of that. In his first chance of 2018, he fell.

             

Philadelphia Phillies: The starting rotation

The Philadelphia Phillies added veteran pieces in first baseman Carlos Santana and right-hander Jake Arrieta this winter. They're hoping to accelerate their rebuild and contend soon.

Arrieta has yet to make his Philly debut after dangling on the market far longer than expected. In the meantime, the Phils have gotten muddled results from their starting corps. 

Aaron Nola was solid in 5.1 innings in his first outing, but Nick Pivetta (6.75 ERA) and Vincent Velasquez (13.50 ERA) did not fare as well.

That places extra weight on Arrieta, whose ERA has climbed as his velocity has dipped since his 2015 NL Cy Young Award-winning campaign. 

                           

Washington Nationals: The catching situation

The Washington Nationals are unbeaten in the early going. They seem ready to make a run in what could be Bryce Harper's D.C. swan song.

One possible area of consternation exists behind the dish. Catcher Matt Wieters was coming off a disappointing 2017 season and hitting only .143 in the early going when he landed on the DL Monday with a left oblique strain, per Chelsea Janes and Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post

Washington called up Pedro Severino to pair with veteran Miguel Montero, but neither is an offensive force. The Nats will play wait-and-see and hope for a healthy, productive return from Wieters. In a must-win season, however, they should also keep their eyes on the trade market.

               

All statistics current as of Tuesday and courtesy of MLB.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.

Source : https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2767949-the-biggest-early-season-flaw-every-mlb-team-needs-to-address

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