Talk of finalizing a start to baseball is getting closer and closer.
1. The Red Sox punishment has been doled out: the ban of a replay operator, loss of a 2nd round pick and ban of Alex Cora through the 2020 playoffs. If Spring Training was spent beaning the Astros players and mocking them with signs and trash cans each at-bat, do we anticipate seeing a similar backlash with an even smaller punishment here? Or, given MUCH larger concerns in the world, has all of this been forgotten?
2. “There’s no future for minor-league sports with empty stadiums. There’s zero,” said Gary Green, who owns Triple-A and Double-A baseball teams and an expansion franchise in the United Soccer League.
3. Prospect deep search: Dean Kremer. 431st overall pick in the 2016 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was part of the Manny Machado trade to the Dodgers in 2018 and over the last three years he has worked his way from A+ up to Triple-A where he finally struggled, posting an 0-2 record an a 8.84 ERA. Prior to that, in Double-A he had a 9-4 record, 9.25 K/9, 0.00 HR/9 and a 2.98 ERA. He needs continued time to develop but he has a great curveball, and solid fastball and good command.
4. I still believe in some shortstops that others have given up, on like Amed Rosario, Dansby Swanson and Willy Adames. This is a solid article on Adames.
5. Six teams have not won an MLB Championship: San Diego Padres (founded 1969), Texas Rangers (founded 1961 under Washington Senators), Milwaukee Brewers (founded 1969 under Seattle Pilots), Colorado Rockies (founded founded 1993), Tampa Bay Rays (founded 1998), Seattle Mariners (founded 1977). Seattle is the one team who has never been to a championship. There are 14 teams created before 1950 and all of them have championships which I take some solace in. At least no fans have sat pre-WW II without a single championship from their team.
6. The San Diego Padres are a team that has been predicted to rise…any…day…now (checks watch, still waiting). The last few years have brought quantum jumps to the organization with the addition of Manny Machado, the promotion of Fernando Tatis Jr. and the addition of Francisco Mejia and Eric Hosmer. Looking at batters who had at least 50 games played last season, they had one player who batted over .265 (Fernando Tatis Jr.). One thing I find interesting, Wil Myers, last year’s CF and potential RF player—who batted a meager .239—had 22 doubles, 2nd most on the team. This was down slightly from the 25 he had in 2018 which was good enough for 4th most on the team. I’m intrigued with him this season, I know I’m getting a .250 AVG batter, but he is trending up in steals success rate, trending down in walks, trending down in RBI and HR. Is this a decline or does he have a swan song if the collective team plays better than it did in 2019?
7. The SB Nation Mets site ‘AmazinAvenue’ helped with this factoid: since 1962, the Mets have averaged 132 homers per year, good enough for 18th best in the MLB well behind the Yankees’ league leading 171. They have 28 players who have hit at least 25 home runs in one season. Three of those 28 players are still on the team (Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes). Jeff McNeil had 22 last year and J.D. Davis had 21. I doubt in a shortened season of 82 games we see someone new join the list, but is it possible that they do it in 2021 season or have we seen their ceiling?
8. The last two years there have been fewer steals in July than any other month. How will this play out on a season that starts in July instead of hits mid-stride in July?
- 2019: Mar/Apr (430); May (367); June (393); July (341); Aug (347); Sept/Oct (402)
- 2018: Mar/Apr (433); May (397); June (378); July (365); Aug (441); Sept/Oct (460)
9. A construction of the Twins 30-man roster. This is a fun exercise.
10. The Pirates threw the fastball more than any team in the league last year, at 59.3% of the time. The velocity on those pitches was 12th in the league, at 93.4 MPH on average. The wFA of -38.1 is the 24th worst in MLB.