Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|After a 17-10 start, the Royals' lack of hitting has dropped them below .500, but they are still third in the AL in team ERA. If the offense performs at just an adequate level, this will be a winning team by season's end.
More» Kottaras drives in Lough with single to right|
|The Dodgers left Atlanta Sunday night after three disappointing, debilitating and ultimately, depressing defeats. Their bullpen lost late leads in all three games. Much is expected of the Dodgers, but so far this season they have delivered only a 17-25 record.
More» Mattingly on Greinke's return from the DL|
|The Atlanta Braves have been known for their admirable pitching depth, not only at the Major League level, but throughout their organization. They're going to require a show of that depth, now, and for some time to come.
More» Kimbrel shuts the door on the Dodgers|
|The Braves have played 63.4 percent of their games on the road. And they have played considerable stretches of the early season without some of their most important personnel. It's not hard to see that even in first place, their overall direction should be upward.
More» Heyward makes a nice sliding catch|
|How good has Jean Segura been during the first six weeks of his first full Major League season? He has been Mike Trout-good. In this, Segura's first full season in the Majors, he has been something else. He has been Trout-like, and then some.
More» Segura ranges across middle for slick play|
|"Strikeout stuff" is a day at the office for Yu Darvish. In fact, Darvish is a pitcher for whom the term "no-hit stuff" can be not a reach, but a reality.
More» Darvish takes perfect game into the ninth|
|Joe Nathan, who is 9-for-9 in save opportunities this season, has been as good as anybody pitching in the ninth inning.
More» Nathan retires Gonzalez to earn the save|
|This has the look of another season with the Texas Rangers in which there will be credit to share, rather than blame. Jon Daniels, Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager, was giving a large share of that credit Tuesday to manager Ron Washington.
More» Washington on Darvish's outing vs. Red Sox|
|The Brewers are 1-6 this season against the Cardinals. If Milwaukee wants to cash in on any of its aspirations for winning the National League Central, it will have to figure out how to compete on something like even terms with St. Louis.
More» Roenicke on Brewers' starting pitching|
|Much has been made of the "problems" facing the St. Louis Cardinals early in 2013. There are 28 other franchises that would happily take these problems if only they could have the Cardinals' 19-11 record after 30 games.
More» Wainwright beats Braun to the bag|
|The performance in the St. Louis bullpen so far this season has not been satisfactory. But the Cardinals appear to have some really viable solutions.
More» Mozeliak talks about Motte's injury|
|Through the first month of the 2013 season, the St. Louis Cardinals were carried by their starting pitchers. And those five pitchers were not buckling under the burden of toting the rest of the roster.
More» Westbrook works six strong to get 100th win|
|In the All-Star balloting, naturally enough, offensive production takes center stage. But catcher is a defense-first position. The best part of a great defensive catcher's game may defy precise statistical measurement, but that doesn't reduce his impact on the game.
More» Molina catches Bruce trying to swipe second|
|Most everyone believed the Nationals were headed for greatness this season, and that still may happen. But for now, with the Nats under .500, one has to wonder: Are they trying too hard to live up to those expectations?
More» Werth drills a solo home run in the eighth|
|For people who did not pick the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals to reach the postseason, there is plenty of reason to reexamine this position, or if necessary, to repent for ever taking this position.
More» Wainwright gets LaRoche to escape jam|
|On Monday night, the St. Louis Cardinals returned to the site of a terrific triumph. They were still more than good enough.
More» Miller fans eight over 6 2/3 frames of work|
|Winning a baseball game doesn't qualify as redemption for a drunken driving arrest. Weighed on the scale of public safety, the first thing doesn't quite stand up to the second.
More»Gallardo apologizes for drunk driving arrest|
|The San Francisco Giants are not playing their best baseball and still they have a winning record. On balance, the news is not all that bad for the defending World Series champions.
More» Vogelsong throws seven solid frames|
|The moment at which Rachel Robinson was introduced to the crowd at Dodger Stadium was, of course, worth the price of admission all by itself. But then, Jackie Robinson's widow had over time paid a much higher admission price than any of the rest of us.
More»Community events that took place in honor of Jackie|
|Given the soaring expectations that accompanied the Toronto Blue Jays into the 2013 season, their current 3-6 record qualifies as a surprise, according to Mike Bauman.
More» Gibbons says he's not concerned with Dickey|