MLBits: Coming Back After Three Years Away, Correa’s Life Change, Bloom Gets Heat, Switch-Pitcher, More
The new MLB pitch clock has made its debut, and it has already gotten a lot of attention. So far, watching a random spring Padres-Mariners game, I’m definitely digging the pace. I also saw a hard grounder get through a hole that otherwise would’ve been eaten up by the shift. I say so far, so good.
Elsewhere around baseball …
- This will be a wild story to follow this spring in Phillies camp. The Red Sox for years had held the rights to pitcher Noah Song, an outstanding arm who hadn’t been able to pitch because of his military commitment. In a surprise move, the Phillies drafted Song in the Rule 5 Draft in December, and then Song was released from his military service. So he is in camp, actually trying to make the team despite not pitching in three years:
- At a physical level, this is a guy who was working his way up through Navy flight school the last three years, so I assume he’s in great shape. But what about the arm? It’s just really hard for me to imagine a guy not throwing for over three years (he has a total of 17.0 professional innings, all the way back in 2019 at Low-A), and then ramping up to BIG LEAGUE CALIBER effort in a month. The flip side is that Song was considered a top-tier talent back when he was actually pitching.
- At a roster level, the Phillies get a little bit of a break because Song doesn’t count against the 40-man (there is a “military list,” apparently). But they will have to follow the Rule 5 restrictions, so by the end of camp, either Song makes the 26-man roster, or he hits waivers. Any other team could then claim him, subject to the Rule 5 restrictions. If no team claims him, the Phillies have to offer him back to the Red Sox, who would JUMP to take him back and then develop him, as normal, in the minor leagues. Of course, it’s also possible that Song will suffer an “injury” late in camp, and then the Phillies can place him on the IL to forestall a decision. Then, he heads to the minors for a “rehab assignment,” and they could have a little development time to work with him. However it plays out, it’s easy to root for Song.
- Carlos Correa talked to Yahoo about his chaotic offseason, and I found interesting his response to a question about whether he ever started to feel like he could’ve or should’ve done things differently:
No, because what the MRI showed has nothing to do with what I can do with the work and my preparation. There’s nothing to be done there. In my brain, there’s nothing wrong. I’m going out there, I’m playing, I played for eight years with no problems. Never had any treatment that’s been documented. And every team can see that. So in my mind, there’s nothing wrong.
Now, given the MRI and what we know, yeah, I will take some precautions. I won’t play tennis with my sister anymore. I won’t be playing basketball pickup games in the gym, and I would just make sure that I do that physical activity when it’s necessary, and that’s when I’m working out. That’s when I’m playing baseball. The only way to control it was going back in time and not sliding that late [in 2014].
- It’s weird to think that Correa is going to change his non-baseball habits in response to MRI reads that he didn’t even know existed until two teams backed out of deals with him because of it. Kinda sucks that he can’t play tennis with his sister anymore, but I do understand the thinking there – he now knows about additional risks with the leg that he didn’t know about before.
- Boston Red Sox GM Chaim Bloom is not very popular with fans right now, but that doesn’t excuse any death threats he’s been getting. That comes from a Boston Globe piece, where Bloom is also quoted as saying this: “I’ve also had a lot of people who write and say that stuff on the radio who will privately disavow it and tell me they’re performing, so I don’t take any of it personally.” Woof. Think what you will about my style, but one thing I will never do is say publicly things that I don’t actually believe privately.
- Weighted balls worked for velocity training, so why wouldn’t weighted bats work for bat speed training? The Los Angeles Dodgers are working on exactly that.
- I cannot wait to watch highlights from this guy all season long:
- Unfortunately for pro ball fans, Cijntje is only a freshman, so he won’t be draft eligible for another couple years. Here’s hoping he keeps progressing with both arms so we can get a real 90+ mph switch-pitcher in the league.
- Feels like big loser energy to me (let the guy do his pregame routine how he wants):
- This is just delightfully weird: