Sports

‘Jazz’ gets two hits in his return

Back in the majors after nearly a month off the active roster due to a left hamstring strain, Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm Jr. started at shortstop and returned to the lead-off role for the Miami Marlins in Major League Baseball (MLB) yesterday.

The Bahamian professional baseball player was sidelined since April 27, suffering the hamstring strain while stealing second base in a loss for the Marlins against the Milwaukee Brewers – a National League-leading seventh of the season at the time. He was placed on the 10-day Injured List (IL), and in his absence, the Marlins lost 10 of 17 and dropped to fourth in the National League East Division with a 17-22 win/loss record – four games behind the front-running New York Mets (18-15).

On the diamond yesterday, Chisholm finished 2-for-5 with a run scored – just two days after going 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs (runs batted in) in his third rehab game with Triple-A Jacksonville, a team he came up with in the minors.

Chisholm is now batting .297 with four home runs, seven RBIs and 12 runs scored on the season with the Marlins. He rejoined the Marlins in Southern California on Saturday, suiting up for the finale of a three-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Batting clean-up, right fielder Adam Duvall hit a huge three-run shot in the top of the fifth, and the Marlins held on to win, 3-2, to avoid a sweep. Chisholm scored on that three-run home run, and also stole his eighth base of the season yesterday, proving that his hamstring is just fine. Chisholm is tied with Colorado Rockies’ outfielder Garrett Hampson for the National League lead in stolen bases and they trail just Kansas City Royals’ second baseman Whit Merrifield (12) in that department.

Starting at shortstop yesterday as the Marlins gave Miguel Rojas the day off, Chisholm had two assists in the field and now has 60 assists and 21 putouts in 83 total chances, splitting time between second base and shortstop. He has just two errors on the season and has been a part of 16 double plays.

The Marlins are off today after 13 straight days of baseball action and then open a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia on Tuesday. They return home to LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida, to host the Mets on the weekend, and play the Phillies seven times over the next 10 days.

Marlins’ Manager Don Mattingly said the decision to bring Chisholm up was based on how he looked in recent outings for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Chisholm finished 4-for-9 with a home run, four RBIs and three runs scored for the Jumbo Shrimp in three games of rehab duty. Isan Díaz, who was beaten out for the starting second baseman job by Chisholm in spring training, filled in for the Marlins in Chisholm’s absence.

On Sunday, back in the majors, Chisholm picked up where he left off, getting two hits and stealing a base in the lead-off position. He is regarded by Statcast and mlb.com as one of the most exciting young stars in MLB, and proved his worth in the first month of the regular season. He leads all Major League Baseball (MLB) second basemen in on-base, plus slugging percentage (OPS) – .917, and is tied with three others for second in the majors in stolen bases with eight, despite missing time.

Chisholm was recently selected by theScore (Score Media and Gaming Inc.) as their frontrunner for the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

The Bahamian had a tremendous first month of the season, with a slash line of .290/.375/.551, four home runs, seven RBIs and 11 runs scored. He’s a legitimate speed-power threat. In sizing up the 23-year-old infielder, theScore stated: “He’s fast, he’s brash, and he’s incredibly fun to watch. Chisholm may be on the IL, but that doesn’t change how exciting and productive the speedy infielder was before straining his hamstring. Stolen bases are becoming increasingly rare, but Chisholm has showcased an ability to run wild while also flexing his muscle, and a 30-30 season seems to be within his grasp. If he doesn’t miss too much time, he could still run all the way to the NL’s top rookie prize.”

Despite missing about three weeks, Chisholm has a team-leading .297 batting average in hitting and .376 mark in on-base percentage (OBP). He is second in slugging percentage (SLG) – .541, third in home runs with four and tied for fifth in bases on balls with nine. Chisholm is sixth on the team in hits with 22, seventh in runs scored with 12, and 10th in RBIs with seven.

Chisholm was plugged into the lead-off role in his last eight games, going 9-for-32 over that span (.281). His slash line of .297/.376/.541 is among the best in the majors among starting second basemen.

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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