Hello and welcome to the latest from Summer Camp!
- Yasiel Puig has signed a deal with the Atlanta Braves. He should slide in as the regular right fielder for the team, with Nick Markakis having recently opted out.
- Four groups have advanced to the next round of bidding in the quest to purchase the New York Mets. These groups include Steve Cohen, A-Rod and J-Lo, and Josh Harris, who currently owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
- 11 umpires have chosen to opt out of this season, with many of them being at high risk themselves or having family members who fall under said category.
- The Atlanta Braves have announced they will keep their name, but will review their use of the ‘Tomahawk Chop’. With the Washington NFL team making the long-awaited change to their name, Atlanta and the Cleveland Indians were thought to be some of the next teams to consider a change. Cleveland still discussing a name change, having recently distanced themselves from their former Chief Wahoo logo.
- MLB continues to struggle with coronavirus testing, as the Diamondbacks are now said to have used a third party testing lab around 20 times thus far. The league will need to drastically improve their testing efficiency if their plan for the season is going to be a success.
- Blue Jays phenom Nate Pearson could be in line to open the year in the rotation. Disappointingly, Toronto’s general manager had been non-committal when asked if Pearson would be on the team’s opening day roster, but an extra spot seems to have opened up with Chase Anderson suffering an oblique injury. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matt Shoemaker, Tanner Roark, and Trent Thornton are the favorites for the other four rotation spots.
- Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona said that Francisco Lindor could spend the season batting third, as opposed to leading off as he typically has in the past. After collecting just 74 RBI last year, this would give him extra opportunities to drive in runs over the course of the shortened season. Newly acquired Cesar Hernandez could take Lindor’s spot atop the lineup in this case.
- The Atlanta Braves have announced that Mike Soroka will be their opening day starter. At 22 years and 355 days, he will be the youngest opening day starter in franchise history.
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is set to move across the diamond and become Toronto’s primary first baseman. As a result, Travis Shaw will man the hot corner for the Jays.
- Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson said the possibility of Trevor Bauer starting every fourth day is “100 percent on the table.” With such a short season ahead, Bauer and the Reds seem to be seriously considering this option, although figuring out the rest days for the rest of the rotation could become complicated as a result.
- Boston Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke has confirmed that Brandon Workman will work as the team’s closer. This is no surprise after accumulating 16 saves with a 1.88 ERA across 73 appearances in 2019.
- Nathan Eovaldi is fully expected to take the mound on opening day for the Red Sox, with Eduardo Rodriguez still dealing with COVID-19. Eovaldi stated that he worked up to 100 pitches during the shutdown and appears to already be in mid-season form.
The following players have announced their intention to sit out of the 2020 season due to the risk of being exposed to COVID-19:
- Tyson Ross
- Joe Ross
- Ryan Zimmerman
- Ian Desmond
- Mike Leake
- David Price
- Nick Markakis
- Felix Hernandez
- Welington Castillo
- Hector Noesi
- Buster Posey
- Michael Kopech
- Jordan Hicks
- Joe Smith
Illnesses and Injuries
- Jacob deGrom had to leave his intrasquad outing in the first inning due to back tightness on Tuesday.
- Tyler Glasnow threw 49 pitches in his first appearance at Rays camp after previously testing positive for COVID-19.
- Christian Walker is being listed as day to day after suffering a right groin strain. With the regular season just over a week away, this could impact his ability to be ready for opening day.
- Byron Buxton is day to day after spraining his left foot tracking down a fly ball during an intrasquad game on Monday night.
- Shohei Ohtani threw 60 pitches Monday in an intrasquad game. Ohtani had been dealing with back stiffness, and is making his return to the mound this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery toward the end of 2018. He did not appear as a pitcher in any games in 2019.
- Masahiro Tanaka is working out after suffering a concussion from being struck in the head by a Giancarlo Stanton line drive. Barring any setbacks, Tanaka should be ready around the second week of the season.
- The Astros have placed five players on the injured list, including Yordan Alvarez and Jose Urquidy. The reasons for these moves are unstated.
- Anthony Rizzo missed Tuesday’s intrasquad game after his back tightened up once again. While the issue doesn’t seem serious, its recurring nature could be cause for concern.
- Yoenis Cespedes said he is “certain” that he will be ready for opening day. Having played just 119 games in the last three seasons due to a variety of injuries, and none in 2019, his spot as the primary DH this season should hopefully allow him to stay healthy over the course of a two month season.
The following players have tested positive for COVID-19, but are asymptomatic and are sitting out until they are cleared to return by passing two negative tests in a row. Other teams have reported positive tests without disclosing the names of the players involved.
Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees
St. Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)