Early performances that mean something
April, 9, 2013
By Buster Olney | ESPN Insider
Justin Upton is not going to hit 135 homers, Matt Harvey is not going to win every game, and Clayton Kershaw is going to allow a run (probably). But there are small sample sizes from the first nine days of the 2013 season that are worth believing in.
1. The Seattle bullpen is overpowering.
Closer Tom Wilhelmsen might have the best power curveball in baseball, and Carter Capps' fastball is the definition of late movement. Charlie Furbush, Oliver Perez and Stephen Pryor have not allowed a hit and so far, opposing hitters have a .565 OPS against the Mariners' bullpen.
If the Mariners hit, they will remain relevant all summer.
2. Adam Jones just keeps getting better
He had an All-Star season last year before really struggling in the playoffs, and he's off to a strong start this season -- and what really jumps out is that he has just two strikeouts in 30 at-bats. The Orioles outfielder also has just one walk, which means that pitchers are going to take the Josh Hamilton approach with him and repeatedly throw it out of the strike zone. But Jones is thriving in two-strike counts in the small sample this year, going 6-for-12 with a homer.