As the MLB season enters its second month, the arms of Spring are starting to mature into full bloom. Pitchers across the league are looking to make a statement, and some young guns have already caught the eye of fans and analysts alike. From fastball specialists to curveball masters, there are several standout pitchers who have impressed in the opening weeks of the season. This article will highlight and analyze some of the most notable performances on the mound so far.
The Arms of Spring: Which Pitchers Have Impressed?
Spring training is where players showcase their abilities and vie for a spot on the starting roster. For pitchers, this is the perfect chance to prove themselves to coaches and managers, and make a case for themselves to start the season as an impactful member of the rotation.
With spring training being about two-thirds of the way done, a handful of pitchers have made quite an impression on both the coaching staff and the fans. Here are the pitchers who have impressed the most during this year’s spring training:
Jacob deGrom has had an incredible spring training so far. The two-time Cy Young award winner has looked nothing short of dominant in his three starts, recording a 0.00 ERA in seven innings pitched. deGrom has also struck out nine batters and allowed only two hits, making him the unquestioned ace of the New York Mets starting rotation.
Shane Bieber had a breakout season in 2020 and has carried his form over to spring training this year. The Cleveland Indians pitcher has looked rock-solid in each of his three starts, giving up only one run in eight innings pitched, while striking out 13 batters. Bieber’s command and ability to generate swings and misses at an elite level continue to set him apart from his peers.
New Los Angeles Dodger Trevor Bauer has lived up to the hype so far in spring training, going 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA through his first two starts. Bauer’s effortless-looking fastball, combined with excellent off-speed pitches has left batters clueless. While the sample size is small, it is the lack of baserunners and a small amount of earned runs allowed that has fans and coaches excited to see what he can do during the regular season.
Veteran Los Angeles Dodger Clayton Kershaw has looked in top form throughout spring training, striking out seven batters in six innings Pitched, giving up only two hits, and not allowing a run in three starts. Kershaw’s command, coupled with his ability to hit pinpoint locations with each pitch, has him looking like he has added a new level of potency to his arsenal.
San Diego Padres’ Blake Snell has looked like an entirely new pitcher in spring training. The former Tampa Bay Ray has given up only two hits in five innings pitched, striking out six batters, and has yet to allow an earned run. With him being slotted to be part of the front half of a loaded Padres pitching rotation, opposing teams will be in for a rough ride.
While spring training games may be exhibition games, it is no secret that pitchers use them to ramp-up for the season ahead. Witnessing pitchers like Jacob deGrom, Shane Bieber, and Trevor Bauer look elite in their brief appearances is a reassuring sight for their respective teams. Veteran pitchers like Clayton Kershaw continue to prove the doubters wrong as they remind the league of their unquestionable potency. Then there’s Blake Snell, who has seemingly found his form once again under new management with the San Diego Padres. These pitchers and others have given their respective clubs quite the positive outlook on the upcoming season. With just a few games left to test their new pitches and tweak their already-solid arsenals, these pitchers are definitely excited to begin the season, and the fans will have a lot to look forward to.