Throughout the entire off-season fans look forward to seeing their team’s new acquisitions. Opening day is a chance for these players to shine. Here is a look at five players who made a good first impression with their new teams.
Milwaukee Brewers-Will Smith
The Brewers gave up one of the best leadoff hitters in franchises history to acquire Will Smith this off-season. In his first outing for the club, he did not disappoint. Picking up where he left off in Kansas City, Smith worked a scoreless eighth inning keeping the heart of the Braves’ order in check. After a strong spring, Smith appears to be a trusted late inning arm out of the bullpen.
Miami Marlins-Casey McGhee
Casey McGhee was not brought to Miami with a ton of fanfare. After being named the team MVP in Milwaukee in 2010, McGhee slumped the next two years. He spent the entire 2013 season in Japan where he worked to earn a second chance in the major leagues. In his first game of the 2014 season with Miami, McGhee showed he could still produce. He pounded two doubles and drove in four runs in a Marlins victory. With each at-bat McGhee looks to show a young Marlin team that he can still produce.
Boston Red Sox-Grady Sizemore
At one point Grady Sizemore was one of the best centerfielder in the major leagues, playing with the Cleveland Indians. But after missing the past two and a half seasons due to injury, many question marks surrounded Sizemore this spring. His hot bat helped him to earn the starting job out of camp. On opening day, he went two for four with a homerun leaving a great first impression for the Boston faithful as he looks to return to form.
Detroit Tigers-Alex Gonzalez
The addition of Alex Gonzalez was not the addition in Detroit that got the most attention, but he certainly had the biggest opening day impact. Not only did Gonzalez boost the Tigers with a game tying triple, but he also won it in the ninth with an RBI single. Gonzalez may not be the Tigers shortstop for long at the age of 37, but his instant influence helped the Tigers to a day one victory.
Baltimore Orioles-Nelson Cruz
After his PED suspension, many teams were hesitant to sign Nelson Cruz this off-season. He rewarded the Orioles on opening day by blasting a game winning seventh inning homerun over the defending champion Boston Red Sox. He proved that his bat could be a major boost in the already potent Orioles lineup.
Statistics Provided by MLB.com