This past offseason, the Pirates traded reliever Jesse Chavez to the Rays for second baseman Akinori Iwamura. A month later, the Rays turned Chavez to the Braves in a trade for reliever Rafael Soriano. All three players made the active roster and are off to good starts this season.
Let's take a look at who is having the best start of the three (after the break):
Akinori Iwamura, Pirates: Iwamura is hitting .281 in 8 games this season, with 2 home runs and a .378 on-base percentage. Iwamura, a .281 career hitter, hit a 2-run homer last night and drove in two runs. The addition of Iwamura will help Pirates fans forget about a healthy Freddy Sanchez.
|2010 - Akinori Iwamura||8||32||6||9||2||0||2||6||5||3||1||0||.281||.378||.531|
Jesse Chavez, Braves: Chavez posted a 4.01 ERA in his first full season in the bigs, so the Braves were taking a chance on him by giving him a spot in the rotation. Yet, Chavez is off to a strong start, with a 2.08 ERA in three games. He has struck out six to just one walk. and if he can continue to have his command, he will make for an effective reliever down the stretch.
|2010 - Jesse Chavez||0-0||3||0||0||0||0||0||4.1||3||1||1||0||1||6||2.08||.92|
Rafael Soriano, Rays: After posting a 2.97 ERA in 77 games last season, Soriano is off to a solid start as Tampa's closer. He is 2-for-2 in save opportunities and owns a 4.50 ERA with one win in four outings. Soriano has posted a 2.69 ERA over the past four seasons, and the Rays will be counting on him as they try to square up against the Yankees and Red Sox.