The Packers have seen big changes to their front office and coaching staff since the end of the season with new General Manager Brian Gutekunst joining new offensive and defensive coordinators as the team tries to bounce back from their first losing season since 2008.
There have also been changes to the roster, including the departure of wide receiver Jordy Nelson and acquisitions of free agents like Jimmy Graham and Muhammad Wilkerson. Head coach Mike McCarthy remains in place, but said at last week’s league meetings that the changes have gone beyond the new hires in those positions. McCarthy said the team has taken a scrub-brush approach to the whole system that includes changes to their well-worn offensive playbook.
The Padres have struggled out of the gate, but one highlight was Christian Villanueva’s three-homer game against the Rockies, making him the seventh Padre and second Padres rookie to hit three home runs in a game. Villanueva had just four career home runs entering the game, and now will have to help pick up the slack on offense to make up for the loss of Wil Myers, who went on the disabled list Wednesday. — Nitzberg
Worry not about Joey Votto’s slow start at the plate — Votto is a notoriously slow starter. His .293 average and .917 OPS in March/April are his worst in any month of the season in his career. Votto has a career 1.002 OPS in the second half of the season, so expect the established first baseman to pick things up as the season goes on. — Woolums
The Cardinals got a strong season from Chandler Jones in 2017, but their pass rush had to go without Markus Golden for most of the season after a torn ACL.
Golden is progressing in his effort to return to the lineup. Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports that Golden posted a video on his protected Instagram page on Tuesday that showed him running as the team got started on their offseason program.
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Golden didn’t have any sacks in four appearances before being injured last year, but had 12.5 while playing across from Jones during the 2016 season.
Paul DeJong hit 28 home runs in his first 115 games, tied with Albert Pujols for the most in a player’s first 115 career games in Cardinals history. The only major league shortstop with more home runs than DeJong since the start of last season is Francisco Lindor Robert Covington Jersey — and DeJong debuted partway through last season. — Langs