I went back to the gym this morning for the first time since I got really sick mid-week, and it was not great. Halfway into the workout, I was so exhausting and coughing that I had to call it a day. So that sucked. I think sometimes I can’t tell just how sick I was until I try to get back into the normal routine without a ton of DayQuil coursing through my system.
- It isn’t worth reacting in much of any way to this news, other than totally factually and flatly, because it isn’t funny or surprising at this point:
Cubs right-hander Brandon Morrow is down for at least a few days with what the team is calling a mild right upper chest strain. No clear timetable right now. Felt it in his last bullpen session.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 22, 2020
- Even if he was fully healthy, it was highly unlikely that Morrow – on a minor league deal – was going to make the Opening Day bullpen. The Cubs and Morrow likely realistically know that if he can contribute at all, it might be for just a portion of the season. So he’ll keep ramping up as long as he is able, fending off these repeat setbacks, and maybe he’ll show up at midseason. I really don’t think you should even entertain any other possibilities, and even that one, you should know is highly unlikely.
- Good read here from Jordan Bastian on Craig Kimbrel’s “normal” offseason and Spring Training, and on what went wrong physically last year. Velocity isn’t the only question for Kimbrel, but it’s obvious that he’s going to be a lot better sitting at 98/99 mph than 95/96 – and last year, the ramp-up and injuries were clearly problematic:
Kimbrel's injury issues last season got in the way of any progress on the velo front. Knee issue hindered him in second half and elbow setback got in the way in Sept. pic.twitter.com/dq4kXIHdqN
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 22, 2020
- Kimbrel is not being described as “behind” the other relievers, but instead is just having an individualized process in Spring Training. For an established guy, that would never set off alarm bells for me. After a disjointed and injured year last year, though? I suppose maybe it gives just a touch of anxiety about how “normal” things really are. But we’ll see when we see. It’s not like he needs to be out there for more than a few Spring Training appearances anyway, so there’s still plennnnnnty of time for him to be throwing live BP. If we don’t hear about that by the end of February, then maybe you can raise an eyebrow.
- The White Sox keep on extending young guys, giving lefty reliever Aaron Bummer a five-year, $16 million deal with a couple team options at the end:
Bummer will receive $1 million in 2020, $2 million in 2021, $2.5 million in 2022, $3.75 million in 2023 and $5.5 million in 2024. The White Sox hold options for $7.25 million in 2025 and $7.5 million in 2026, with $1.25 million buyouts for either season.
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) February 22, 2020
- This is a really aggressive extension for the White Sox, as Bummer has only 1.150 years of service time, but it’s pretty hard not to love it for them. Yes, they now guarantee him $16 million through his arb years, so there’s risk. But in exchange, they get two very affordable option years on a guy who might be an absolute stud at that time. Bummer, 26, had a 72.1% groundball rate last year (dear God), and folks liken him to Zack Britton.
- Andrew Baggerly was making this point in the context of ALL Blue Jays games being blacked out in Canada on MLB.tv, but it is a reminder of the balance MLB and its teams need to continue to strike between maximizing current revenue and also maintaining long-term fan access and interest:
There’s a generation of Braves and Cubs fans from all over. Know why? BECAUSE PEOPLE COULD WATCH THE GAMES. If baseball isn’t affordable and accessible, then it is hurtling toward its extinction as a major sport. No matter how much they futz with the rules. https://t.co/9gaSUw4Apg
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) February 23, 2020
- Silliness, of course, but hey the Cubs come in at number 9, ahead of the rest of the Central – so not everyone is wholly down on the Cubs:
I have fun doing just about anything with @williamfleitch, so we got together to pick potential 2020 World Series champs, 1-30. You can probably guess who's first. Yell at Will for the Astros. I enjoyed doing this.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) February 23, 2020
- Maaaaan, you’d have to give the players something really, really good to justify them getting on board with a two-city team:
For those who thought there was no way the players union would go for #Rays plan to split seasons in Montreal, Tony Clark said they could approve it, though have a "strong preference" the team find a way to stay put. Our @TB_Times exclusive: https://t.co/M5Qjze6U9y
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) February 23, 2020
- Obligatory jokes about stealing signs, but this is just gonna be an ugly year for them:
— Kristie Rieken (@kristieAP) February 22, 2020
Orbit was booed pretty loud when he made his first spring training appearance.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) February 22, 2020
- Amazing hockey moment, where the emergency goalie/Zamboni driver had to play over a period to help the Hurricanes win a game in a playoff race after their two rostered goalies were injured:
A memory we'll all have forever pic.twitter.com/LUxqs8o3Wr
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 23, 2020
- Just imagine if you were the fan on standby to, like, pitch if there were a sudden rash of pitcher injuries and an extra-innings game where position players were forbidden to pitch (or something). That’d be pretty dang awesome if you could do it without humiliating yourself.