This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
Welcome to overreaction season! There's no better time than the start of baseball season, when we're suddenly overloaded with far more games than we could possibly keep up with after five months without meaningful games. That's true even if your favorite team isn't the Phillies, who suddenly have the best pitching staff of all time, holding a strong Atlanta lineup to just three runs in three games. Red Sox fans may want to give up on the season already, though, as there's surely no coming back from an opening weekend sweep against the mighty Orioles.
It's a wonderful feeling to be able to discuss real games and real stat lines again after spending months mostly discussing hypotheticals. Altering the opinions we had of players before the season began based on just three or four games is almost always unwise, however. Even stats that stabilize fairly quickly like strikeout rate and walk rate are a long way from becoming reliable.
There are still a few things worth paying attention to, however. Pitcher velocity is perhaps the most significant one. It only takes a single pitch thrown at 100 mph to prove that a pitcher has the ability to throw 100 mph. Even one game can be enough to indicate that they have the ability to do so consistently. This page tracks every pitcher's velocity change and is already worth checking out.
The most important things we can learn this early in the season are role changes and clarifications. Plenty of managers