Some injury and coronavirus news from around the baseball world:
- Shohei Ohtani has progressed to throwing bullpen sessions around twice per week, Angels’ GM Billy Eppler tells MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link). He’s throwing approximately 35 pitches per session at “80-85%” effort level, Eppler adds. Under normal circumstances, Ohtani would be nearing readiness to face live hitters in some capacity next month, Eppler says, but that’s obviously made difficult by social distancing requirements. The two-way star was estimated to need until mid-May to return to an MLB mound; assuming his rehab continues without a setback, he figures to be ready if the 2020 season resumes.
- MLB’s most recent long-term shutdown came twenty-five years ago, when a labor dispute resulted in the cancellation of the 1994 World Series and a delayed start to the following season. With that in mind, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Ben Nicholson-Smith and Arden Zwelling revisited the mid-90’s strike. A number of former players, including Shawn Green and Aaron Sele, spoke about the challenges of staying mentally and physically prepared without a specific return date in sight. Sele and former MLB manager Bob Boone also noted the injury risks for players, especially pitchers, of ramping up quickly once the season was set to return. The whole piece is worth a read for those interested in the challenges current players could face if the 2020 season is able to resume.
- The coronavirus has dealt a blow to small businesses of all sorts in recent months. Baseball websites like this one are no exception. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe spoke with MLBTR founder Tim Dierkes and Baseball Reference founder Sean Forman about the challenges facing each site. With MLB on hiatus and transactions prohibited, baseball-related web traffic and advertising revenue have predictably taken a corresponding step back. As you’ve seen here in April, we’ve ramped up our original articles to fill the content void. For more on the state of MLBTR, check out Tim’s post from earlier this month.