2018 Major League Baseball season
|2018 MLB season|
|League||Major League Baseball|
|Duration||March 29 – October 31, 2018|
|Number of games||162|
|Number of teams||30|
|Top draft pick||Casey Mize|
|Picked by||Detroit Tigers|
The 2018 Major League Baseball season began on March 29, 2018, and is scheduled to end on September 30. The postseason will begin on October 2. The 2018 World Series is set to begin on October 23, and a potential Game 7 is scheduled for October 31.
As has been the case since 2013, all teams will play their four division opponents 19 times each for a total of 76 games. They will play six or seven games against each of the other ten same-league opponents for a total of 66 games, and 20 interleague games. The primary interleague match-ups are AL East vs NL East, AL Central vs NL Central, and AL West vs NL West. Since "natural rivalry" matchups are part of the three-year divisional rotation, the schedule format for interleague games will be different from previous years. The 20 interleague games each team will play will consist of two three-game series (one home, one away) against its natural rival (total of six games), two two-game series (one home, one away) against each team for two other opponents (total of eight games), and a single three-game series against each team for the last two (one home, one away; total of six games).
Under the new collective bargaining agreement reached in December 2016, the regular season has been extended to 187 days in order to add four additional off-days for all teams. All teams were scheduled to play Opening Day, March 29 – the earliest domestic start of a regular season in MLB history until the 2019 season. There will no longer be a Sunday night game on the final Sunday before the All-Star Game. A single, nationally televised game was played on the Thursday after the All-Star Game (which for 2018, was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs), before all other teams return from break the next day.
The Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians played a two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on April 17 and 18, while the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres played a three-game series at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, from May 4 to 6. The 2018 MLB Little League Classic at BB&T Ballpark in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, coinciding with the Little League World Series, returned to the schedule. It was played between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets on August 19.
Beginning in the 2018 season, MLB implemented new pace of play rules, which include limiting the number of mound visits for each team to six per nine innings. Teams will receive an additional visit for every extra inning played.
|American League||National League|
|American League||National League|
|Team||Former GM||Reason For Leaving||New GM||Story/Accomplishments|
|Atlanta Braves||John Coppolella||Resigned||Alex Anthopoulos||John Coppolella resigned from the Braves on October 2, 2017, because of a Major League Baseball investigation regarding signing bonuses of international prospects. On November 12, 2017, Alex Anthopoulos was hired as the new general manager of the team. On November 21, 2017, Coppolella was banned for life from baseball as a result of the investigation. The Braves were penalized with a loss of 13 prospects and a 2018 Rule 4 draft (third round) pick, and the league levied other penalties against the team for the next two international signing periods.|
|Team||Former manager||Reason for leaving||New manager||Story/Accomplishments|
|Detroit Tigers||Brad Ausmus||Contract not renewed||Ron Gardenhire||The Tigers announced on September 22, 2017, that Ausmus' contract would not be renewed. Ausmus compiled a 314–332 (.486) record in four years as manager with one playoff appearance. The Tigers hired former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire on October 19, 2017. As the Twins' manager from 2002 to 2014 he compiled a record of 1068–1039 (.507), and 6–21 (.222) in six post-season appearances. He also won AL Manager of the Year in 2010.|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Pete Mackanin||Reassigned||Gabe Kapler||It was announced on October 1, 2017, that Mackanin would be removed as manager but he managed the final three games of the 2017 season. Mackanin had a record of 174–238 (.422) in his two and a half seasons as manager with no playoff appearances. It also was announced he would remain with the organization as a special assistant to the general manager. On October 29, 2017, the Phillies announced the hire of former Dodgers' Director of Development Gabe Kapler. He has no previous major league managerial or coaching experience.|
|New York Mets||Terry Collins||Retired||Mickey Callaway||Collins announced on October 1, 2017, that he would retire after the last game of the season. He will move to the Mets' front office. Collins finished with a 551–583 (.486) record in seven years with club, with two playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016, where they lost to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series and lost the Wild Card to the San Francisco Giants in the following season. The Mets named Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway as their new manager on October 22, 2017. Callaway has no previous managerial experience.|
|Boston Red Sox||John Farrell||Fired||Alex Cora||Farrell was fired on October 11, 2017. Farrell during his five years as manager compiled a 432–378 (.533) record and earned three division titles in 2013, 2016 and 2017. He led the Red Sox to the 2013 World Series title. Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora was named manager on October 22, 2017, and formally assumed the role after the Astros' win in the 2017 World Series. He has no previous managerial experience.|
|Washington Nationals||Dusty Baker||Contract not renewed||Dave Martinez||The Nationals announced on October 20, 2017, that Baker would not be returning for the 2018 season. Baker led the Nationals to the postseason in each of his two seasons with the club but couldn't get past the NLDS. The Nationals were 192–132 (.593) under Baker. The Nationals hired Dave Martinez to be their new manager on October 29, 2017. Martinez was previously the bench coach for the Chicago Cubs, and has no managerial experience.|
|New York Yankees||Joe Girardi||Aaron Boone||The Yankees announced on October 26, 2017, that Girardi would not return for the 2018 season. Girardi led the Yankees to three division titles and one World Series championship during his ten years of managing the club. The Yankees were 910–710 (.562) under Girardi. On December 1, 2017, radio announcer Aaron Boone was hired as the team's new manager. He has no previous coaching or managerial experience.|
|Team||Former manager||Interim manager||Reason for leaving||New manager||Story/Accomplishments|
|Cincinnati Reds||Bryan Price||Jim Riggleman||Fired||TBA||Price was fired on April 19 after starting the season with a 3–15 (.167) record. In four seasons, Price finished with a 279–387 (.419) record with no playoff appearances. Bench coach Jim Riggleman was selected as the interim manager. His previous managerial experience includes stints with the Padres, Cubs, Mariners, and Nationals. He has been a manager in the Reds' minor league system since 2012.|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Mike Matheny||Mike Shildt||Mike Shildt||Matheny was fired on July 14 after starting the season with a 47–46 (.505) record. In seven seasons, Matheny finished with a 591–473 (.555) record with four playoff appearances, winning the National League pennant in 2013. Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also dismissed, and bench coach Mike Shildt was named interim manager. Shildt has no major league managing experience, but has managed in the Cardinals minor league system. On August 28, Shildt's "interim" title was dropped as he was named the new Cardinals manager.|
Updated through September 1
- George Springer (HOU):
- With his Opening Day lead-off home run on March 29 against the Texas Rangers, Springer became the first player in Major League history to lead off back-to-back seasons with a home run.
- Joe Panik (SF):
- Adrián Beltré (TEX):
- With a second-inning double on April 5 against the Oakland Athletics, Beltré became the all-time leader in hits by a player from Latin America. Beltré, from the Dominican Republic, passed Rod Carew of Panama with the 3,054th hit in his career.
- With a fourth-inning double on June 13 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Beltré beacme the all-time leader in hits by a non-U.S. native, passing Ichiro Suzuki.
- Recorded his 1,500th run scored in the sixth inning on July 30 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He became the 73rd player to reach this mark.
- Joe Mauer (MIN):
- Recorded his 2,000th career hit with a single in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox on April 12. He became the 287th player to reach this mark.
- Miguel Cabrera (DET):
- Recorded his 550th career double in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles on April 19. He became the 30th player to reach this mark.
- Ryan Braun (MIL):
- Recorded his 1,000th career RBI with a pinch-hit home run in the sixth inning against the Miami Marlins on April 19. He became the 285th player to reach this mark.
- Rajai Davis (CLE):
- Recorded his 400th career stolen base by stealing second base in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 3. He became the 75th player to reach this mark.
- Albert Pujols (LAA):
- Recorded his 3,000th career hit with a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners on May 4. He became the 32nd player to reach this mark. Pujols also becomes the fourth player in Major League history to collect 3,000 hits and hit 600 home runs in his career, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.
- Gleyber Torres (NYY):
- Shin-Soo Choo (TEX):
- Wil Myers (SD):
- Became the first player in Major League history to hit three home runs in a game that was a double-digit loss. The team lost 20–5 against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 7.
- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR):
- Mike Trout (LAA):
- José Reyes (NYM):
- Ronald Acuña Jr./Ozzie Albies (ATL):
- With his 20th home run on the season by Acuna on August 22 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Acuna and Albies became the first teammates in Major League history to hit 20+ home runs in the same season before either player turned 22 years old.
- Sean Manaea (OAK):
- Threw his first career no-hitter by defeating the Boston Red Sox 3–0 on April 21, at the Oakland Coliseum. Manaea struck out ten batters, walked two and threw one wild pitch, throwing 75 of his 108 pitches for strikes. The game included two controversial out calls: in the fifth inning, a batter reached base on an error that Manaea reportedly assumed was ruled a hit; in the sixth inning, Andrew Benintendi was initially ruled safe on an infield single, but after some discussion by the umpiring crew, he was called out for having left the baseline on the play. Benintendi later called this a "missed call" and insinuated that the umpires were biased in favor of Manaea.
- Walker Buehler/Tony Cingrani/Yimi García/Adam Liberatore (LAD):
- Threw the first combined no-hitter in franchise history by defeating the San Diego Padres 4–0 on May 4, during a series played at the Estadio de Béisbol in Monterrey, Mexico. Buehler struck out eight and walked three over six innings, throwing 59 of his 93 pitches for strikes. Cingrani struck out one and walked two over one inning, throwing 13 of 24 pitches for strikes. García struck out two and walked none over one inning, throwing 11 of 14 pitches for strikes. Liberatore also did not walk a batter, striking out 2 and throwing 10 of 15 pitches for strikes. This was the 12th combined no-hitter in Major League history and the 23rd no-hitter in franchise history
- James Paxton (SEA):
- Threw his first career no-hitter, and the sixth in franchise history, by defeating the Toronto Blue Jays 5–0 on May 8, at Rogers Centre. Paxton struck out seven and walked three, throwing 64 of his 99 pitches for strikes. Paxton became the second Canadian-born player to throw a no-hitter, joining Dick Fowler of the 1945 Philadelphia Athletics. As the game was played in Toronto, this made Canada the third country in which an MLB no-hitter was thrown in 2018, the other two being the USA and Mexico.
Other pitching accomplishments
- Max Scherzer (WAS):
- Became the second pitcher in the live-ball era (since 1920) to pitch a shutout, strike out at least 10 batters and steal a base in the same game by accomplishing this feat on April 9 against the Atlanta Braves. He joins Nolan Ryan who did this against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 16, 1984.
- Became the first pitcher in Major League history to finish with no more than 61⁄3 innings and strike out 15 batters in a 5–4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 6. He did not factor into the decision.
- Recorded his 150th career win with a victory against the Baltimore Orioles on May 30. He became the 259th player to reach this mark.
- Roberto Osuna (HOU)/(TOR):
- On April 10, at the age of 23 years and 62 days, Osuna became the youngest pitcher in Major League history to record his 100th career save. Osuna was over a year younger than the previous record holder Francisco Rodríguez, who had accomplished the feat at the age of 24 years and 246 days.
- Josh Hader (MIL):
- Became the first pitcher in Major League history to strike out eight batters in an outing of less than three innings. Hader struck out eight Cincinnati Reds on April 30 in 22⁄3 innings.
- Craig Kimbrel (BOS):
- Recorded his 300th career save by closing out a 6–5 win over the Texas Rangers on May 5. He is the 29th player, and the fastest, to reach this mark.
- Justin Verlander (HOU):
- Cole Hamels (CHC)/(TEX):
- Recorded his 150th career win with a victory against the New York Yankees on May 22. He became the 258th player to reach this mark
- Bartolo Colón (TEX):
- Recorded his 2,500th career strikeout by getting Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 12. He became the 34th player to reach this mark.
- With his victory on June 18 against the Kansas City Royals, Colón became the winningest pitcher in Major League history from the Dominican Republic. His 244th career win passed Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.
- With his victory on August 7 against the Seattle Mariners, Colón became the winningest Latin American-born pitcher in Major League history, passing Nicaragua's Dennis Martínez.
- Clayton Kershaw (LAD):
- Recorded his 150th career win with a victory against the Seattle Mariners on August 19. He became the 260th player to reach this mark.
- The Arizona Diamondbacks became the first National League team since the 1907 Cubs to start the season with nine consecutive series wins.
- For the first time in Major League history, there were more strikeouts than hits in a month. At the end of April, there were 7,335 strikeouts and 6,992 hits. This happened again in June, with 6,776 strikeouts and 6,641 hits.
- The Houston Astros broke the record for the fewest runs allowed since 1920 (live ball era) in a 50-game span with 126 runs. The previous record was 128 set by the Cleveland Indians in 1968.
- On August 16, the Texas Rangers pulled off a 5–4 triple play in their 8–6 win over the Los Angeles Angels. It was only the third 5–4 triple play in the expansion era (since 1961), with the most recent one having occurred in 2007. In addition, it was the first triple play since 1912 in which the batter was not retired.
Awards and honors
Player of the Month
Pitcher of the Month
Rookie of the Month
The Cleveland Indians have confirmed this will be the final season using the Chief Wahoo logo on its uniforms. It will be replaced at the start of the 2019 season.
The Washington Nationals added a second navy blue jersey to commemorate the team's hosting of the 2018 All-Star Game. The uniform features the script "Nationals" in white with red trim and numerals in red with white trim.
Anniversaries and special events
The following teams will wear commemorative patches for special occasions:
|All Teams||"MSD" patch in memory of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (February 23)|
|#42 patch for Jackie Robinson Day (April 15)|
|Pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness (May 13, Mother's Day)|
|"Play Ball" patch in partnership with USA Baseball and USA Softball (June 2–3)|
|Blue ribbons for prostate cancer awareness (June 17, Father's Day)|
|American flag patch as well as all teams wearing patriotic themed jerseys, undershirts and socks for Independence Day. (July 2–4)|
|Gold ribbons for childhood cancer awareness (August 31)|
|Atlanta Braves||50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (April 4)|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||20th anniversary of the franchise|
|Chicago Cubs||"MSD" patch in memory of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (March 29)|
|Colorado Rockies||25th anniversary of the franchise|
|Detroit Tigers||Jack Morris number retirement (August 12)|
|Alan Trammell number retirement (August 26)|
|Houston Astros||2017 World Series Championship (April 2)|
|Kansas City Royals||50th season of the franchise|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||60th anniversary in Los Angeles|
|Miami Marlins||25th anniversary of the franchise (began as the Florida Marlins)|
|"MSD" patch in memory of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting (March 29-April 1)|
|Milwaukee Brewers||"Nellie" patch in memory of Dave Nelson (June 21–24)|
|New York Mets||Autograph patch in memory of Rusty Staub (from March 31 onwards)|
|Oakland Athletics||50th anniversary in Oakland|
|San Diego Padres||KT and RP patches in memory of Kevin Towers and Rob Picciolo (May 12, and other Wednesday home games)|
|San Francisco Giants||60th anniversary in San Francisco|
|St. Louis Cardinals||#2 patch in memory of Red Schoendienst (from June 11 onwards)|
|Tampa Bay Rays||20th anniversary of the franchise (originally Devil Rays)|
|Toronto Blue Jays||#32 patch in memory of Roy Halladay|
|Washington Nationals||2018 All Star Game|
Players, managers and coaches wore #42 on April 15, the 71st anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut in the majors.
The Orioles wore special caps and green uniforms on April 22, Earth Day.
The Blue Jays wore red uniforms July 1, Canada Day. They wore a cap with a gold maple leaf, as well.
Teams wore Stars and Stripes caps uniforms July 2, 3, and 4, Independence Day. Teams wore caps denoting what league they play for (there were nine interleague series during the time period).
For the second straight year, MLB was sponsoring Players Weekend, an event for which all teams wore special uniforms with design cues reminiscent of typical Little League uniforms. The event was held August 24 to 26, again coinciding with the final weekend of the Little League World Series.
The Athletics and White Sox wore 1968 throwbacks April 17 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Athletics' first season in Oakland.
The Padres wore 1998 throwbacks May 12 to mark the 20th anniversary of their 1998 NL title. They will wear them again at select Wednesday games.
The Royals wore 1969 throwbacks May 19 to mark the franchise's 50th season. The uniforms also had the MLB 100th anniversary patch, which all teams wore that season.
The Marlins wore 1993 throwbacks June 8 to 10 to mark their 25th anniversary.
The Brewers wore Milwaukee Bears uniforms August 2. Their opponents, the Rockies, wore their regular uniforms.
The Mariners and Astros wore throwbacks on August 10; the Mariners wore their 1979 throwbacks, and the Astros wore their "Tequila Sunrise" uniforms.
The Rays wore throwbacks from their inaugural season on March 31 against the Boston Red Sox, on June 9 against the Seattle Mariners, and on June 23 against the New York Yankees. They will wear these throwbacks once more on September 8 against the Baltimore Orioles.
This is the fifth year of the current eight-year deals with Fox Sports, ESPN and TBS. Fox will air eight weeks of baseball on Saturday Nights leading up to the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game which will also air on Fox. Fox will then televise Saturday afternoon games for the last four weeks of the regular season. FS1 will televise games on Tuesday and on Saturdays both during the afternoon and night. ESPN will televise games on its flagship telecast Sunday Night Baseball as well as Monday and Wednesday Nights. TBS will televise Sunday afternoon games for the last 13 weeks of the regular season. Fox and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecasts will be exclusive; all other national telecasts will be subject to local blackout.
TBS will televise the American League Wild Card Game, Division Series and Championship Series. ESPN will televise the National League Wild Card. FS1 and MLB Network will televise the National League Division Series. Fox and FS1 will televise the National League Championship Series. The World Series will air exclusively on Fox for the 19th consecutive year.
- The Minnesota Twins returned to Entercom's WCCO/Minneapolis after twelve years on KSTP, followed by the Twins-owned FM station KQGO; WCCO has been the flagship for the Twins' network for 46 of the team's 58 years of existence. Entercom will also take over all existing play-by-play contracts from their newly acquired stations from CBS Radio after the two companies merged their radio assets on November 17, 2017.
- The Chicago White Sox took on a new flagship station in Tribune Broadcasting's WGN/Chicago, after Cumulus Media asked to void their agreement to carry the team's games on WLS as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, and Cumulus ending several high-profile talent and sports rights agreements due to their cost. The deal allows WGN to return to MLB play-by-play after a three-year hiatus after the end of their long association with the Chicago Cubs, who moved to WBBM in the 2015 season, then WSCR in 2016. WGN had previously carried White Sox broadcasts from 1927 until 1943.
- The San Diego Padres obtained a new flagship station after Entercom moved the team's broadcasts from KBZT to KEGY (both FM stations), which had flipped from a contemporary hit radio format to a short-lived hot talk format at the beginning of the season. After the team and fans reacted negatively to the schedule and personalities surrounding Padres games following a controversial social media post (to the point of consideration by the Padres to void the broadcast contract only three games into the season), Entercom switched KEGY within two weeks to a straight sports radio format and new calls in KWFN.
Nine regular season games will be broadcast exclusively in the United States on Facebook Watch, beginning with the April 4 game between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies.
- Kyle Lohse announced his retirement on May 10.
- Kris Medlen announced his retirement on May 27.
- Aaron Laffey announced his retirement on June 7 after allowing 14 runs (12 earned) in a minor league game.
- Brayan Pena announced his retirement on June 18.
- Jayson Werth announced his retirement on June 27.
- Shane Victorino announced his retirement on July 2 and retired on August 3 after signing a 1-day contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
- Chase Utley announced on July 13 that he would retire at the end of the season.
- Andre Ethier announced his retirement on July 25.
- Luke Hochevar announced his retirement on August 13.
- Brandon McCarthy announced on August 14 that he would retire at the end of the season.
- Victor Martinez announced on August 15 that he would retire at the end of the season.
- October 31 is the date of a potential Game 7 of the World Series. The earliest the season can end is October 27.
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