Baseball Buzz: May's Memorable Moments

Baseball Buzz: May's Memorable Moments

Baseball Buzz: May's Memorable Moments 

As the summer heat starts to settle in across America, the baseball season is rounding into form with several sizzling storylines grabbing headlines this week. From rookies making historic debuts to stalwart teams exceeding expectations to oddball occurrences bringing laughs, here's a glimpse at the games' biggest buzz.

The Next Great Star Arrives All eyes have been on Cincinnati's rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz, who is off to a blistering start that has him flirting with joining one of baseball's most elite clubs. The 21-year-old is making a run at becoming just the 5th player ever to hit 40 home runs and steal 90 bases in the same season. With his powerful bat and blazing speed, De La Cruz is threatening to etch his name alongside members of the exclusive 40/90 club like Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Alfonso Soriano. Through his first 30 games, he's on pace for 54 homers and 117 steals over a full season. It's still early, but De La Cruz is quickly proving he's a true five-tool talent.

Cleveland Rocks Few expected the youthful Cleveland Guardians to be contenders this year, but they've emerged as arguably baseball's biggest surprise so far in 2024. Thanks to a deep rotation led by ace Shane Bieber and a dynamite bullpen, Cleveland's pitching has been virtually unhittable, sporting an MLB-best 2.98 team ERA. On offense, third baseman Jose Ramirez is having another MVP-caliber campaign, while rookies Steven Kwan and Bo Naylor have provided unexpected slugging. At 27-15, this gritty Guardians squad is in first place in a competitive AL Central.

Baltimore's Next Bomber? Speaking of young sluggers, the Baltimore Orioles are being rewarded yet again for their elite player development system. This franchise has long been renowned for producing precocious, polished hitting talents like Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop and Cedric Mullins in recent years. The next potential star is 22-year-old catcher Adley Rutschman, who was a top-5 prospect but has surpassed even lofty expectations with his advanced approach at the plate. Rutschman is among the AL batting average leaders while showing a rare combination of power and plate discipline. He's a big reason why the surprising O's are in the playoff hunt.

The Good, Bad and Ugly Other notable news and events around MLB this week:

  • Two new pitchers have seized the lead in the latest Cy Young award betting odds - Toronto's Alek Manoah (+300) and San Diego's Yu Darvish (+350)
  • To help evaluate hitting even further, MLB introduced bat speed tracking metrics on its Baseball Savant web app
  • A Seattle Mariners fan made a pair of sensational bare-handed grabs on back-to-back foul balls down the third base line
  • Cincinnati outfielder Stuart Fairchild has been making jaw-dropping home run robberies on a routine basis with his leaping grabs
  • Minnesota extended its win streak to 10 games in dramatic fashion by walking off the Tigers, though the Twins also lost center fielder Byron Buxton to a knee injury
  • A wild scene unfolded in Arizona when a swarm of bees took over the field, causing a prolonged stoppage before local beekeeper Matt Hilton came to the rescue

Whether it's monster performances, improbable achievements or bizarre happenings, Major League Baseball never fails to provide fresh drama and intrigue. As the calendar turns to June, the plots will only continue to thicken. But for now, those were this week's can't-miss headlines from the national pastime.





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