It’s a very weird feeling now that we know, after months of uncertainty, that baseball actually is going to try to make a season happen … and that season will always be under the threat of uncertainty. I gave myself a minute to celebrate last night, but once you get past that, you are re-confronted by the reality that this is going to be extremely challenging. More than that, there are real risks to the players and personnel who participate. I do believe it is justifiable to try to play Major League Baseball this year when you consider all that goes into it, but I also hope that the health and safety precautions are over-the-top. I hope that every error is on the side of extreme caution.
Well, in addition to the many errors I’d like to see on the field from the Brewers, Cardinals, and Reds. And I guess Pirates, too, since anything can happen in a 60-game season …
• The Injured List will reportedly get some changes this year, with the minimum stint for all players set at 10 games. Hopefully teams take care of their players using the list, rather than try to have players play through injuries because it’s such a large chunk of the season. Even in a short year, I can see how that just never seems to work out.
• The 60-day IL will now be the 45-day IL, which would still more or less knock you out for the season if it happens during the regular season. But keep in mind, for guys who show up to Spring Training Part Two with an issue, the 45-day IL is likely to be able to kick in at some point DURING Spring Training. So, for guys injured then, they might only have to miss 30 or so days of the regular season if they get healthy thereafter.
• … of course, that in turn generates roster questions in my mind: the 60-day (or 45-day, in this case) IL exists only where you need to open up a 40-man spot temporarily. I wonder how often that’s going to happen this year where you want to put someone on the 40-man for a short stretch. That also then gets me thinking about a guy like Burl Carraway, who might be ready to go this year (big league stuff, very few bullets used this year), but are the Cubs going to want to put him on the 40-man roster right now in exchange for maybe a month of action? That means he takes up a 40-man spot all offseason, and then on into next year. I realize only right now as I type it that the Cubs would have to believe he is an immediate HUGE IMPACT reliever to do that in 2020.
• I suppose service time will also be a roster consideration, too, because of the prorating. Every day a player spends on the big league roster this year will effectively count as something like 2.7 days of service time, right? I haven’t seen an official decision on this, but obviously it’s going to have a huge impact on the way teams sort out their roster moves with controlled players.
• But back to the Injured List stuff: there will also be a special COVID-19 Injured List for players who test positive, and that list will have no minimum or maximum stay.
• All about Spring Training Part Two right here if you missed it earlier this morning.
• Take it seriously, gents:
According to the MLB Operations Manual, players must complete a "COVID-19 education" prior to spring training. It includes an educational video they must watch in the presence of team medical personnel, posters, handouts and a class.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) June 24, 2020
• Jason Kipnis nails this:
Excited as anyone to finally get back on the field!! But there’s gonna be a lot of positive tests (reported?) when players start reporting next week… part of the plan? Accounted for? Nail in the coffin? Who knows, so strap in…
— Jason Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) June 24, 2020
• I really, really hope this has been planned for, both in terms of caring for those who test positive, caring for those around them and their families, and then also knowing how to communicate in a thoughtful way about positive cases upon arrival. The health and safety manual is reportedly over 100 pages.
• The positive test part is already starting, by the way, with the cases in the various spring camps and also now another team:
— Kyle Newman (@KyleNewmanDP) June 24, 2020
• The Cubs made it heart-tugging video official:
Play ball! pic.twitter.com/EApEPn9ApZ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 24, 2020
• If I’m permitted a joke about the health and safety protocols, it’s this:
No high-fives, eh? Cubs new manager has an idea. pic.twitter.com/wOflwEeOub
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) June 24, 2020
• Shoes, athletic gear, and blenders are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad