Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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Back in 1981, a 20-year-old Mexican rookie was tasked with making the start on Opening Day for the Los Angeles Dodgers. That rookie shut out the Houston Astros, and then proceeded to keep the good times rolling until he had an 8-0 record with a 0.50 ERA and five shutouts to his name. That rookie was Fernando Valenzuela, and while his magical run to start the '81 season and his major league career as a pitcher has yet to be matched, another Dodgers rookie is trying his hardest to match it -- Kenta Maeda.
While Maeda has a long road ahead of him to match Valenzuela's torrid start, it appears as if the 28-year-old Japanese righty appears to be poised to at least give it a decent challenge. Maeda delivered a solid performance in the rarefied air of Coors Field as he went 6.1 innings, struck out eight, walked only one and had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. Most importantly, he didn't give up a run, and in the process, he became the only pitcher in MLB history to allow only one earned run over his first four starts (with a minimum of 20 innings pitched).
Naturally, there are already rumblings of a possible sequel to the smash Hollywood hit of "Fernandomania," and while it's still a bit too early to start production on that film, the fact that we're even talking about this as a possibility is amazing. As far as the short-term is concerned, the Dodgers have to be extremely pleased with the fact that their marquee signing has hit the ground running and passed the test of the NL West gauntlet with flying colors. It may not be time for "Maedamania" yet, but Kenta Maeda has given the Dodgers absolutely no reason to have buyer's remorse over the deal they signed him to.
- Pitching well at Coors Field is a bit of an aberration, though -- enough to make Buster Olney suggest in his Insider column that teams should consider playing with a fourth outfielder there.
- The Chicago Cubs are off to a great start to the season, and the player they came very close to losing to Baltimore in the offseason is a big reason why.
- Tanner Roark pitched a gem on Saturday, as he went seven innings and struck out 15 as the Nationals shut out the Twins.
- Andrelton Simmons continues to prove that everything the sun touches is in his range.
- Meanwhile, Mike Trout just keeps on showing that he is very, very, very good at this whole "baseball" thing.
- Aaron Blair -- one of the highly touted prospects that the Braves swiped from the Diamondbacks for Shelby Miller -- will be making his major league debut today.
- Stephen Curry is a Red Sox fan, so you can imagine that the reigning NBA MVP was pretty excited to spend quality time with his favorite baseball team this weekend.
- The Milwaukee Brewers may be preparing us for a return to the old ball-in-glove logo as their primary mark. Yes please, I'll take that.
- Bat flips are great, but please, let's be a bit more careful about it!