For the millions of fans missing baseball on what would have been Opening Day, the Strat-O-Matic gaming company will try to help fill the void by providing a simulated version of every game originally on the schedule. Today’s action included Brock Holt hitting a three-run walkoff homer to lead the Brewers to a 7-4 win over the Cubs, a 13-inning marathon between the Rockies and Padres that saw Trevor Story hit two homers in a 10-7 Colorado victory, and Chris Archer tossing six shutout innings in a 4-1 Pirates win over Archer’s former team, the Rays.
Some (real life) notes from around baseball…
- Noah Syndergaard, Chris Sale, and Tyler Beede are a few of the pitchers who have chosen to undergo Tommy John surgeries in the days since the league-wide shutdown, which has led to some questions about when (or should) such procedures be performed given that medical facilities the world over are increasingly halting or postponing elective surgeries to free up resources for COVID-19 patients. The topic is broached in pieces from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, each featuring comments from several medical professionals debating both sides. The issue is further complicated by the fact that there isn’t yet any nationwide standard about such practices in the United States, which is why clinics in different states can have varying approaches.
- Baseball America’s Ben Badler profiles another batch of international prospects expected to sign with MLB teams when the next international signing window opens (a date that now could be pushed back from July 2 to as late as January 2021). The Orioles, Rangers, Padres, Royals, and Rays are connected to the five players in Badler’s piece, with some contractual bonus information known for two of the youngsters. Kansas City is expected to spend “north of $1.5MM” on Dominican shortstop Daniel Vasquez, while Tampa Bay is expected to spend “a little below $2MM” on Dominican outfielder Jhonny Piron. While the dollar figures for this year’s international spending pools haven’t yet been released, the Rays already figure to have committed a big chunk of their available funds on Piron and Carlos Colmenarez, given that Badler previously described Colmenarez as “making a strong case to be the No. 1 player” in this year’s international class. This would seemingly put Colmenarez in line for a major bonus, though the Rays can always add to their international pool by trading with other teams. It’s also fair to assume that the bonus pool system could also see some type of alteration if and when the signing window doesn’t open until January.