The first week of the season has concluded. With it perhaps go the jitters of settling into a new clubhouse. Most of them have spent over a month of spring training with their new teams and have hopefully settled into their daily routines. Some may have even turned that into some success on the field.
Or, for some, a bad start or two have really hampered their debut in their new digs. The desire to impress when joining a new club must be palpable, even for professional athletes.
Let's take a look at four players who made their debuts with new clubs this past week. A batter and a pitcher who have impressed in their debuts. And then another pair of players who, put as politely as possible, haven't.
We'll start with a bit of a cheat. Prior to this season, Maeda had never pitched in the MLB. However, he still has eight years of professional pitching under his belt.
Before the season started, the jury was somewhat out on Maeda, but he certainly hasn't disappointed. In fact, he has yet to allow a run. In his two starts, Maeda has pitched a total of 12 innings to a WHIP of 0.92. He's only faced 11 over the minimum. Even further, he's only allowed three runners to reach third base.
While the shutout streak surely won't continue, it has put Maeda onto a pretty nice list. He's only the 16th pitcher since 1920 to begin his career with two starts of at least six innings each while also allowing no runs. Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers have likely had no trouble welcoming this newcomer.
Off to a sneakier nice start, Castro has failed to reach base in only one game since his debut with the New York Yankees, with an on-base percentage of .440. He's hitting 138 percent better than the league average by wRC+, has knocked in nine runners, and has gone yard twice.
Furthermore, his batting average on balls in play is only 70 points higher than his career norm. While that certainly indicates some regression, he isn't due for it to hit nearly as hard as players such as Tyler White or Daniel Murphy, who have BABIPs at .600.
After the Chicago Cubs signed Ben Zobrist this offseason, Castro became an expendable asset and was shipped to the Yankees for some bullpen help in Adam Warren. It's unclear who would have filled the void at second base had the Yankees not acquired Castro, but fans should certainly welcome that addition.
After signing a six-year contract worth $206.5 million, Greinke was heralded by some as the player worthy of pushing the Arizona Diamondbacks into contention. Instead, much has been made of his unbelievably bad debut.
In his first start, Greinke allowed three home runs over only four innings. The last time Greinke had allowed three homers in a game was back in 2009. The last time he last four or fewer innings was back in May of 2015.
In his next start, Greinke improved but still allowed four earned runs over only six innings. The last time Greinke allowed 11 or more runs over two starts was back in 2011. There's little doubt that Greinke will be able to bounce back; he's still one of the premier pitchers in all of baseball. However, it has caused some unfortunate media attention in Arizona that would have been nice to avoid to start the 2016 campaign.
Oh boy. Not much has gone right for Desmond lately. After turning down a seven-year extension with the Washington Nationals that would have been worth $107 million prior to 2013, Desmond settled for a two-year extension worth $17.5 million in 2014.
At the conclusion of that deal, Desmond then turned down his one-year qualifying offer that would have been worth $15.8 million. Desmond remained as a free agent until the end of February when he signed a deal with the Texas Rangers worth only $8 million and to play in the outfield.
In his 38 plate appearances with the Rangers, Desmond has reached base safely just seven times. By wRC+, Desmond is hitting 125 percent worse than the league average. While that is unsustainably bad, if Desmond doesn't straighten his production out soon, the Rangers could have a much bigger problem than who hits sixth in their lineup.