With just two weeks to go until Opening Day, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. WBC Update
The first round of the World Baseball Classic is officially in the books, with Cuba, Italy, Japan, Australia, Mexico, the United States, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico advancing to the quarterfinals, which have already begun. Cuba defeated Australia yesterday to advance to the semifinal round, while Japan advanced past Italy this morning. While no other matches will happen today, the other two quarterfinal matchups are now set, with Team Mexico squaring off against Team Puerto Rico tomorrow night while Team USA is set to take on Team Venezuela Saturday night. Of course, the biggest story of the WBC yesterday followed Puerto Rico’s upset victory that sent home the tournament favorites from the Dominican Republic.
2. Diaz Injury Update Incoming
That story is Edwin Diaz’s right knee injury, which he seemingly suffered during the celebration of Team Puerto Rico’s victory last night. The Mets announced last night that Diaz will undergo additional imaging today after receiving x-rays last night, meaning an update on Diaz could be coming as soon as later this morning. Until then, it’s unknown how much time Diaz will miss, though sources have told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that they fear Diaz is set to miss significant time. If Diaz misses significant time, that will obviously be a massive blow to the Mets’ bullpen, as Diaz is widely seen as the best closer in the entire sport.
3. Offseason in Review Chat Today
In conjunction with yesterday’s Reds Offseason in Review, MLBTR’s Anthony Franco will be hosting a Reds-centric live chat with readers today at 2pm CT. You can click here to submit a question in advance, and that same link will take you to the chat once it begins, or allow you to read the transcript once it’s complete. Be sure to check back throughout the day so you don’t miss Anthony’s chat!
I wonder if contractual language involving the WBC and injuries occurring while playing for another team could end up voiding a contract or at least voiding a season of pay? Not necessarily in Diaz’s contract, but future contacts?
No way the union goes for that considering this is something really wanted and actively encourages current players to participate in .
Lets Go DBacks
Don’t forget that the WBC is an MLB tournament either. It’s part of MLB’s strategy of promoting baseball world wide and expanding markets.
The WBSC allows the winner to be crowned as “world champion” but WBSC has nothing else to do with the Classic. It’s an MLB show.
Even if it’s a MLB tournament (which it’s not), what idiot would void Diaz’ contract?
Yeah, even trying to void that contract would be really bad optics. While I hope he’s out only the minimal amount of time (if not at all, which doesn’t look possible), that’s a record-setting deal for the best closer in MLB — and it’s not an arm injury, fwiw. NYM will most likely try and recoup as much as they can for missed time via insurance – as they should – and plan accordingly.
I wonder though, had this happened a few days earlier, would they have been courting Bauer to add to depth in rotation and/or use him at the end backend?
Take it as you may, no one was touching Bauer this year. He made the right call to go overseas and try to show MLB teams that he’s worth the media headache. Also, don’t forget he was one of the most vocal advocates of grip aids on social media and has yet to prove what his stuff and spin rates look like in a sustained way post crack down.
I’m not so sure. If they could limit the language to such celebrations, why make it a deal-breaker? Injuries which occur on the field are fine. Injuries that occur through reckless (though common) post-game celebrations are a different matter.
Although even then, I wouldn’t go so far as to void one or more seasons.
The teams have insurance to cover players getting injured in the WBC. That is why Kershaw couldn’t play. The Dodgers were unable to get an insurance policy on him.
That David Robertson pickup is big.
Robertson has managed 77 total appearance over the past 4 years, thats a tough crutch to lean on. I think re-signing Ottavino now looks huge for this bullpen
If Dîaz is out most of the year, there’s not one guy at this point they’ll be able to totally depend on. True, this also makes the Ottavino re-signing important, as he’ll have a key setup role. Would be interesting if they bring Zach Britton in and possibly have a Robertson/Britton committee role. They wouldn’t be leaning too heavy on either one, and you’ll know that that team will have plenty of SV opps, while each also providing a setup/mop-up role to get IP when not closing.
Now we know Diaz will miss most of the season (if they are absent lucky he may be able to return in late September) so i would think they must at least kick the tires on Britton.
something the commissioner’s office really wanted*
Maybe an injury of significant magnitude will put an end to a needless tournament
Ohtani looks a bit human today with Italy getting a few runs off him and him struggling in the 5th. Couldn’t even get through 5 innings on 71 pitches. Also concerning that Darvish pitched 2 innings and gave up a run. All against a #16 ranked team. Should be interesting how they fare against actual good teams like the U.S., PR and Venezuela.
Didn’t he get up to 102-mph though? I don’t recall him throwing that hard.
Yes, he did. on one pitch.
Ohtani’s next contract will be an albatross contract. Awful.
Why don’t they do this in the fall? Isn’t spring training a time to evaluate your players/team and to get the team ready for the season?
No MLB player is playing in this only a couple weeks after finishing a 162 game season (plus playoff games). This time of year is the only logical time you could hold the tournament.
that, but I believe part of the reason was to work around the schedule of some of the Asian leagues so their players can participate.
If any player is injured during this nonsense (the World Baseball “Classic”), their MLB teams should be completely off the hook for it.
Why? it’s an MLB sponsored tournament. the league and owners are making money off it and attempting to grow the sport with it. plus, you start screwing around with contracts because of the WBC and watch zero professional players participate.
Oh boy the Reds chat. I wonder if both of their fans will be there? Can’t wait. Can’t we just do the Reds, A’s , and Pirates chats all at once? You know save some time. Might get 10 people there.
The Reds outdrew Baltimore, Cleveland, Miami, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Oakland, and KC. They have fans. It’s okay if you or I are not one, but as a baseball fan, I have interest in all 30 teams. Obviously some more than others. Relax my man. There are bigger things in the world.
That’s OK. I’ll pass. In fact I’d rather light myself on fire and jog through a Meth Lab.
This chat belongs to the Reds.
Why is everyone talking about shutting down/stopping players from playing in the WBC, rather than just stopping (or at least channeling the enthusiasm slightly differently in) the over-the-top celebrations/dogpiles?
Maybe the WBC should be for minor leaguers to represent their countries over players with $100+ million dollar contracts. I don’t know, i know this falls under the “freak accident” category but a prolonged absence by Diaz is going to be devastating for the Mets
Kendrys Morales wants a word
As does Cody Bellinger’s shoulder.
More players have been injured in spring training games than in the WBC. There’s no more risk at the WBC than any other games. We get it. You hate the tournament.
Void contracts? What part of MLB sanctioned do you not understand?
Simple solution, that of course would not be accepted. Team signs player to contract. Player is invited to play in WBC. Player must sign waiver that covers half his salary if something happens. Team takes half the risk. Player takes half the risk. If the player doesn’t want to sign, he doesn’t play, but it’s his choice. Waiver is only for the period missed
Why would the players agree to that? WBC is an MLB sponsored tournament so the league and the owners are making money off of it and it was their idea to begin with as a way to grow the game. all you’ll end up with is no MLB players in the tournament.
I’m pretty sure the Marlins owner is wondering why can’t Marlins games draw as many people and create the same atmosphere as the WBC games?