Gift of the Maggi
The legend of Drew Maggi continues to grow, even though he has only played in three games in his MLB career.
After 13 years in the Minor Leagues, Maggi received his first promotion to the Majors on April 23rd after Bryan Reynolds was placed on the Bereavement List and Ji Man Choi was transferred to the 60-Day IL. Maggi had his first MLB at-bat against the Dodgers on April 26th and made his first MLB start on April 27th. Unfortunately, he went hitless in his first four Major League at-bats.
On Friday, the Pirates optioned Maggi for utility player Miguel Andujar. However, the Friday game against the Nationals was rained out and postponed to Saturday as part of a doubleheader. Consequently, the Pirates made Maggi the 27th man for the Saturday two-game slate.
Maggi wasn’t expected to play on Saturday unless something dramatic happened. In the second game of the Saturday doubleheader, the Pirates got off to a 12-run lead by the 7th inning. Pirates manager Derek Shelton then opted to bring Maggi off the bench, knowing that this could be his last day in his Major League career.
The Pirates third baseman made the most of his opportunity, as he collected his first two MLB hits, including his first double, and his first RBI as well.
Maggi will return to Double-A Altoona on Sunday. However, he at least did not go hitless in his MLB debut, thanks to mother nature on Friday.
He can at least hang his hat on the fact that if this was his only MLB experience, he at least got a base hit during his short stint.
That is something not a lot of career Minor League journeymen can say.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Saturday
Manny Machado (SD): 3-4, 2B, 2 HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB.
It was expected that the high elevation and small dimensions of Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium would produce a lot of hitting fireworks, and Saturday did not disappoint. The Giants and Padres combined for 27 runs and 30 hits. Machado collected three of those hits, which included two home runs, four runs scored, and three RBI. Machado has gotten off to a slow start, as he is hitting .245 with a .695 OPS. Furthermore, his exit velocity and hard-hit rate are down as well. It will be interesting to see if the thin air of Mexico City will help rejuvenate him and get him back on track.
Mike Trout (LAA): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI.
The Angels lost, but Trout continues to produce MVP-caliber numbers. The Angels’ franchise player collected three hits, two home runs, five RBI, and a partridge in a pear tree on Saturday. For the year, he is hitting .320 with a 1.020 OPS and has seven home runs and 18 RBI. He is striking out and whiffing more than usual, as he ranks in the 32nd and 35th percentiles in those categories, respectively. Nonetheless, Trout could make an MVP push in 2023 after a strong April.
Geraldo Perdomo (ARI): 3-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI.
Perdomo continues to be a pleasant surprise for an even more surprising Diamondbacks squad. After lackluster 2021 and 2022 seasons, Perdomo is hitting .390 with a 1.090 OPS in 70 plate appearances. On Saturday at Coors Field against the Rockies, the 23-year-old infielder collected three hits, four RBI, and hit his second home run of the year. The exit velocity and hard-hit rates are concerning (he ranks in the bottom percentiles in both categories), but Perdomo is wielding a hot bat that should be streamed in mixed leagues for now.
Wander Franco (TB): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, SB.
White Sox starter Lance Lynn carried a no-hitter and three-run lead into the seventh inning. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off quickly, as the Rays scored 10 runs in the top of the 7th en route to a 12-3 win on the South Side. Franco was one of the main catalysts, as he hit a home run and collected two hits and three RBI in the Rays’ win. Franco has five home runs already this year in 121 plate appearances and is one away from matching the six he hit last year in 344 plate appearances. Franco may indeed be taking the leap to stardom in 2023.
Mitch Haniger (SF): 2-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
After missing most of the year thus far due to injury, Haniger has started 2023 off strong. He is hitting .333 in 15 plate appearances and hit a home run and collected three RBI against the Padres in Mexico City on Saturday. Now, is he simply benefitting from the insane conditions of Alfredo Harp Helú Stadium? Perhaps. That said, Haniger, who was a key acquisition for the Giants this offseason, won’t complain.
Ryan McKenna (BAL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI.
McKenna got the start in game 2 of the Orioles’ doubleheader against the Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, and his performance helped propel Baltimore to a 6-4 win. The 26-year-old outfielder collected three RBI and hit his first home run of the year against Detroit’s Matthew Boyd. McKenna is primarily utilized as a platoon bat who sees time against left-handed starters, but he has been productive in the role, as he is hitting .276 with a .796 OPS in 32 plate appearances this year.
Matt Vierling (DET): 3-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI.
In game one of the doubleheader in Detroit, it was Vierling who carried the offense in the Tigers’ 7-4 win. Vierling had three hits, which included two doubles, and he also garnered four RBI to boot. Acquired by the Phillies earlier this season, the 26-year-old former Notre Dame product has given a boost to a Tigers offense that desperately needs it. He is hitting .286 with a .748 OPS this year in 84 plate appearances. The barrels haven’t come yet, as he is sporting only a 1.9 percent barrel rate. But the hard contact numbers are still solid, so a power turnaround could be in store when the weather heats up in the upper Midwest.
Ezequiel Duran (TEX): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI.
There wasn’t a whole lot of offense on Saturday between the Rangers and Yankees, as there were only eight hits total between both teams. Duran, the Rangers’ number eight hitter, collected two of those hits, with one of them being a two-run home run off of Yankees starter Jhony Brito. Duran has filled in well for the injured Corey Seager at shortstop, as he is hitting .310 with a .810 OPS and has two home runs in 61 plate appearances.
Edward Olivares (KC): 2-3, 2 2B, 2 R, BB, SB.
The Royals’ offense has been lousy this year, but Olivares has provided a boost, even if it doesn’t result in a whole lot of power. He is currently hitting .291 with a .835 OPS in 85 plate appearances this year. In Kansas City’s 3-2 win over Minnesota at Target Field, Olivares not only collected two doubles but also scored two runs and had a stolen base as well. The 26-year-old outfielder has failed to stick at the MLB level since being acquired by Kansas City in 2020. However, he is looking like an everyday player right now for a 7-21 Royals team.
Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)