Michael’s on vacation for part of this week, which has me on MLBits duty today. Sometimes it’s nice to chuck stuff at Michael and be like, “Hey, you do this controversial thing that everyone is going to hate.” But sometimes you’ve gotta wear the mantle.
- Dan Szymborski takes his look back at how the Brewers did what they did in 2018, and how things look going forward:
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) January 2, 2019
- Of particularly important note around here, Syzmborski doesn’t see the Brewers’ departures as necessarily hurting them that much in 2019 and beyond. He could certainly have a point there, given that the projections for guys like Jonathan Schoop, Mike Moustakas, Wade Miley, and Gio Gonzalez are pretty modest for 2019. It feels like the Brewers are losing a lot (and haven’t replaced them), but that’s not really the question that matters – what matters is what they’ve lost *for 2019.* And if you think those guys might stink, then the Brewers might be all the better for letting them go.
- Most of what made the Brewers so successful in 2019 is returning in 2020, though the obvious question is whether guys like Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, Jesus Aguilar, Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, and a patchwork rotation can carry their success forward. Because that’s what it took to tie a scuffling Cubs team through 162 games.
- Also, a huge, huge, huge win for the Brewers in 2018 was signing Jhoulys Chacin instead of Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta. And that’s if you don’t even consider the contracts!
- Apparently the Office of the Commissioner is hiring someone specifically to identify pace-of-play violations. I’m not sure how this was handled in the past, since I do know of players receiving letters from the league about pace-of-play issues. Maybe the league is finally stepping it up a bit? I am an unapologetic proponent of improving pace-of-play (i.e., more regular and constant action on the field without interruptions), so if it takes having hall monitors, then so be it.
- That reminds me: no one is talking about the pitch clock that was very, very heavily discussed last year but rejected by the players. Remember how the league could unilaterally put the clock in place for the 2019 season if it wanted? Well, I have no update on that front, but it seems pretty darn important and we haven’t heard anything since November. So that’s the update: there is no update yet.
- Yoenis Cespedes had surgery on both of his heels late last year, one in August and the other in October, and everyone agrees that it will keep him out well into the 2019 season … but beyond that, nobody knows anything:
Speaking on @MLBNetworkRadio this morning, Omar Minaya echoed the recent chorus on Yoenis Cespedes' complete lack of a timetable to return:
"If he gives us anything this year, that is great, we're happy for that," Minaya said.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) January 2, 2019
- It’s just such an extreme double surgery situation for a 33-year-old that it’s really hard to know when he’ll be back and what the Mets will have when he returns. Seems like they’ll have to plan like they’re going to get nothing from him, which is a bummer, because the dude still rakes when he’s healthy. He’s signed through the 2020 season on a four-year, $110 million contract. I immediately wonder whether they’re intentionally keeping things opaque so that they can pursue someone like A.J. Pollock with a tiny sliver of leverage left.
- I, too, missed this the first time around, but it’s freaking fascinating if you’re into the real nitty gritty on the procedural side of completing transactions:
Missed this at the time, but @rianwatt did a great job documenting how MLB transactions become official. I'm 98% certain that the twins that confused the system are the Ledbetters https://t.co/goYEBVw0U1
— Kazuto Yamazaki (@Kazuto_Yamazaki) December 29, 2018
- Oh, #AtIndians, you funny:
Baseball is easy, huh?
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) January 2, 2019
- And now, 150 pitches of filth: