The Opener: Prospect Debuts, Seager, MLBTR Chat


As the MLB season continues to move swiftly along, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:

1. Prospects set to make MLB debuts:

The big news of the prospecting world is that top Rays pitching prospect Taj Bradley is expected to make his MLB debut today in a start against the Red Sox. The Rays, of course, have opened the season on a historic tear, winning their first eleven games in a row. Bradley will be tasked with preserving that win streak against Chris Sale tonight at 5:40pm CT. Bradley has a 2.66 ERA in 317 2/3 minor league innings of work, including at 3.82 ERA in 82 innings of work at the Triple-A level. He currently ranks as the game’s No. 42 prospect at Baseball America.

Looking beyond Bradley, two AL Central prospects could make their MLB debuts today. The Twins are set to call up top infield prospect Edouard Julien to replace Joey Gallo on the active roster ahead of their 12:10pm CT game against the White Sox this afternoon. Julien, BA’s No. 97 overall prospect, has a phenomenal .437 OBP in the minors to this point in his career, fueled by a 20.2% walk rate. He’s opened the season with a .290/.421/.548 slash and a pair of homers in his first 38 plate appearances with Triple-A St. Paul.

Meanwhile, Guardians right-hander Peyton Battenfield is slated to start this afternoon’s game against the Yankees and righty Clarke Schmidt at 12:10pm CT. Battenfield isn’t considered one of the organization’s premier prospects, but he was very solid in 28 Triple-A starts last year, posting a 3.63 ERA with a 17% strikeout rate and a walk rate of 8.9%.

2. Seager update expected today:

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager left yesterday’s game with hamstring tightness, and manager Bruce Bochy said the team expects to know more about the severity of Seager’s injury and his potential timetable for return today. The Rangers’ star was off to a hot start to open the season, slashing .359/.469/.538. Ezequiel Duran and Josh H. Smith are among the potential options to fill in at shortstop for the Rangers if Seager misses any time. Marcus Semien has spent the bulk of his career at shortstop, but Bochy said last night that he’d likely keep Semien at second base should Seager be sidelined (Twitter link via Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News).

3. MLBTR Chat:

Yesterday, MLBTR’s Steve Adams fielded questions during a live chat (transcript here). If you still have unanswered questions about your favorite team or the league as a whole in the early going of the season, MLBTR’s Anthony Franco will be hosting another chat this evening. You can submit a question in advance here, and you can use the same link to check back in and participate live once the chat begins.

In addition, the second episode of the MLB Trade Rumors podcast is now available! MLBTR’s Simon Hampton hosts MLBTR’s Steve Adams as they answer listener questions and discuss the undefeated Rays, recent prospect promotions, and the Angels’ bullpen. You can listen to today’s episode on Spotify or Apple Podcast.

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