Well, we’re two months into the 2017 season and surprising names are still all over the leaderboards. Figured we’d take a look at the most surprising category leaders so far this season. All stats are through Tuesday’s games.
Why that’s surprising: In 2016, his first season away from playing his home games with the Rockies in Coors Field, Dickerson’s batting average dropped off a cliff. He was a career .299 hitter for Colorado, but batted just .245 for Tampa Bay last year.
He was still a productive hitter ’ he popped 24 homers and had a .761 OPS in 148 games ’ but there wasn’t much reason to think he’d be in the conversation for best average in the AL. Manager Kevin Cash moved him from the middle/bottom of the lineup to the leadoff spot for 2017, though, and Dickerson has responded well (obviously). He leads the AL in hits (72) and total bases (128), and he’s tied with Yankees slugger Aaron Judge for the league lead in runs scored (39).
Danny Salazar is switching to relief duties.
The Indians have sent the right-hander to the bullpen amid his struggles so far this season, the team announced Sunday.
Indians manager Terry Francona disclosed Salazar will be available as a reliever beginning Wednesday, but could start a game next week during Cleveland’s road trip to face the Royals and Rockies. The 2016 All-Star has struck out 73 batters in 52 1/3 innings, though he’s allowed 55 hits and 28 walks.
Salazar, 27, is 3-5 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 starts. He went 11-6 with a 3.87 ERA last year after missing most of the second half of the season with a sore elbow.