Ten Bruin Alums on 2024 MLB Opening Day Teams

The 2024 Major League Baseball season began on Thursday with 10 UCLA baseball alumni on their Opening Day rosters. Four former Bruin standouts were added to their teams' active rosters: right-handed pitcher Jake Bird (Colorado Rockies), Griffin Canning (Los Angeles Angels), Brandon Crawford (St. Louis Cardinals), and Michael Toglia.

Dave Roberts (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Torey Lovullo (Arizona Diamondbacks) are two UCLA-educated MLB managers returning for the current season. UCLA is the only college with several MLB club managers

Four more Bruin alumni will open the season on the Major League Injured List: right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole (New York Yankees), infielder Matt McLain (Cincinnati Reds), outfielder Garrett Mitchell (Milwaukee Brewers), and right-handed pitcher Zack Weiss.

Today is Bird and Toglia's first Opening Day appearance. After 13 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Crawford's first Opening Day in St. Louis.

Bird plays his third MLB season in 2024. In two seasons, he's made 108 relief appearances for Colorado, posting a 4.53 ERA. In 2024, he pitched 89 1/3 innings in 70 games as a sophomore. Bird's 4.33 ERA, 117 ERA+, and 77 strikeouts to 27 walks.

Canning will enter his fifth year in the Angels' rotation. In 22 starts last year, the SoCal native had a 4.32 ERA and struck out 139 batters in 127 innings. Last year, Canning set career highs in strikeouts, innings, wins (7), FIP (4.29), and walks allowed per nine innings (2.6).

Crawford will wear Cardinal scarlet for the first time this year after 12 consecutive Giants Opening Day starts. The 14th-year vet and four-time Gold Glove Award winner has a.250 lifetime average and is within striking distance of 1,500 hits (1,392 entering the season), 150 home runs (146), 750 RBIs (744), and 1,700 games (1,654).

In 76 games with the Rockies in the last two seasons, Toglia has 47 hits, six home runs, and 21 RBIs. 2024 is his first Opening Day. In 23 games with Colorado in spring, the Gig Harbor, Wash. native hit.286/.355/.625 with five home runs. Toglia will play first base and outfield for the Rockies this season.

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