For six former Texas baseball players, there was no better place to be over the weekend than back playing baseball. Three were named to their teams' opening day rosters, two were on the injured list and one will be in the dugout as a manager.
Back from Tommy John surgery, pitcher Corey Knebel made two appearances in the Milwaukee Brewers' opening series at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, throwing 1.1 innings, allowing three hits and one earned run, and notching one strikeout, as he fanned the Cubs' star third baseman Kris Bryant on a knuckle curve, similar to the one in the video of him below.
Corey Knebel, 83mph Knuckle Curve (movement/release/spin). pic.twitter.com/Jskrpuai6N— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 11, 2017
Halfway across the country, the Red Sox's Brandon Workman was in the dugout for Boston's opening series against the Orioles, though he was not used. However, being that he is arguably Boston's best closer, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harrigan, it is possible Workman will see the mound at some point during this current series in New York against the Mets.
In his first season in Los Angeles, the Angels' Hoby Milner had a game to forget in his inagural performance with the team. Normally very consistent in his relief appearances, Milner was brought in to face Matt Olson of the Oakland A's in the top of the 10th inning with the bases loaded. Olson swatted a walk-off grand slam on Milner's first pitch, ending the game by a score of 7-3.
In addition, both Brandon Belt of the Giants and Dillon Peters of the Angels began their seasons on the injured list. Belt is expected to be back for the Giants' series against the San Diego Padres this week, while Peters has arrived at the Angels' alternate training site while recovering from an oblique injury that sidelined him throughout preseason camp in July.
In Detroit, Tigers skipper Ron Gardenhire returns to the dugout for his third season at the helm of the team. The 16-year Major League manager played shortstop at Texas from 1978-79, and was a member of that '79 College World Series team that won Texas' first Southwest Conference title in baseball.