By almost every measurement, the 2017 World Baseball Classic seemed to be a huge success. Ratings and attendance were way up. The tournament mattered to United States fans for the first time. Several prominent players who sat out this year indicated they’d like to give it a go in 2021. But I say “almost” because of injuries. WBC participants Didi Gregorius, Marin Prado, Drew Smyly, Seth Lugo, and Roberto Osuna all started the year on the disabled list after suffering injuries during the WBC. The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh digs into the data to see if MLB front offices have reason for concern as they consider allowing their players to take part in the WBC in years to come.
The Red Sox, picked by yours truly to win the World Series, have gotten off to a slightly disappointing start. They currently sit in 3rd place in the AL East at 4-3. But the reason for the ho-hum start might extend beyond baseball. The stomach flu has ravaged the Sox during the first week of the season. Six players, including Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez, have been hit with the sickness. Other teams have taken note too, with the Twins asking the Tigers to fumigate the visitors’ clubhouse after the Red Sox completed a four game series in Detroit.
Yoenis Cespedes hit three homers last night, along with a double. And if that isn’t impressive enough, consider this: according to MLB Statcast, all four of his XBH qualified as “barrels” (a measurement of how well a batter squares up the ball on his bat). That's only the third four barrel game in the Statcast era.