As the return of regular season baseball draws ever closer, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. WBC Update
The World Baseball Classic continues today. Over the weekend, Australia (3-1) and Japan (4-0) both punched their tickets to the quarterfinals in Pool B. Pool A, meanwhile, saw a wild finish where all five teams finished with a 2-2 record. Cuba and Italy ultimately moved onto the quarterfinals after tiebreakers were exercised. Pools C and D are still ongoing, with the Dominican Republic (0-1) facing Nicaragua (0-2) at 11am CT today and Colombia (1-0) facing Great Britain (0-2) at 2pm CT today. Both games will air on FS2. Meanwhile, FS1 will air Israel (1-0) vs. Puerto Rico (1-1) at 6pm CT in addition to Canada (1-0) vs. the United States (1-1) at 9pm CT.
2. Eovaldi, deGrom to pitch today:
Today is a big day for the Rangers’ rotation, as Jacob deGrom will pitch in a game as a member of the organization for the first time today. deGrom, to this point, has been handled very carefully by the Rangers in order to preserve his health into the regular season. In addition, Nathan Eovaldi will be returning to the mound after being shut down with side tightness. Both righties are slated to pitch in minor league games. As two of Texas’s top three starters, their health will be crucial to the success of a team hoping to return to contention after a second straight offseason spending spree.
3. Could more extensions be on the way?
As the start of the regular season quickly approaches, so too does the time of year where contract extension talks typically wind down between clubs and players. Two major extensions occurred over the weekend, as Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz and Diamondbacks center fielder Corbin Carroll both signed eight-year extensions. Other extension talks around baseball seem to be proceeding with mixed results: the Padres seem intent on extension talks with both closer Josh Hader and star slugger Juan Soto, while the Astros seem pessimistic about their odds of getting a deal done with either Kyle Tucker or Framber Valdez this spring. Aaron Nola of the Phillies and Nico Hoerner of the Cubs are among other players who have been rumored to have extension talks with their clubs this spring.
Looks like Joey Meneses is determined to show that last season wasn’t a fluke. Put on quite a show for team Mexico yesterday.
Australians punching above their weight. It’s what we love to do. Well done, boys. Keep going.
Yep, and now they get Cuba. I can see Australia taking down Cuba. They just haven’t been the Cuba of past. Sure, they won their group, but it should have been an easier win than a 2-2 record.
I’m hopeful. Especially in a 1 game affair. Shame Hendriks is not there for a late innings or two. It would be great for the game down here if they can get past them.
1. Japan is firing on all cylinders right now. But, I’m a bit suspicious, given that they haven’t’ really played against any major teams, aside from Korea and Korea hasn’t really been the Korea of past WBC..
2. Why did Texas sign top MLB pitchers to play on their minor league team?
3. I feel like all these extensions are going to come back to bite teams. Sure, they’re fairly team friendly, however, guys are getting injured fairly often and don’t always return to their usual form. I guess that’s the risk.
Dang, who pissed on your corn flakes?
What did I say that came off as negative? I said nothing negative.
Old York doesn’t like Mondays apparently
What exactly did I say that would give you that impression?
Was it the Japan topic? I’m a big fan of team Japan and want them to win, but I’m not going to be a Homer.
Was is the Rangers topic? I was just making fun of the fact that they’re playing minor league games instead of with MLB spring training. Nothing serious.
Was is the extension topic? Sure, they’re team friendly signings but it’s also not certain, as we’ve seen with some other extensions, that players will be on the field earning that money. Look at Tatis. He’s been injured and suspended for a while now. Was that really wroth the money?
No need to defend yourself. You’re right, you didn’t say anything offensive. Teams often have their major leaguers play against minor leaguers. Minor league teams and split squads give more players a chance to play. I assume deGrom and Eovaldi are pitching in minor league games so healthier players can go against major leaguers. Just a way for injured players to test their fitness.
deGrom Texas Ranger
I didn’t even know the minor leagues had spring training. They have stats for MLB ST, but not MiLB ST, so I never knew this.
@deGrom Texas Ranger
Yes, me as well. I guess it makes sense. I follow an independent league team and they also have spring training to prepare for the season. Just never thought about it in that manner.
Hi Old York I agree that we should be a little sceptical about Japan’s success so far. They certainly are talented, especially their starting pitchers, but the competition hasn’t been very good. What happened to Korea? I thought they were supposed to be one of the favorites to win the tournament
deGrom Texas Ranger
Extend Jung for 8/55 million with 2 team options and some buyout $. He has no leverage and is already 25, with 6 seasons of control. Maybe, add 5 million or so.
Are you sure that jung will even be a good major league player? He had a 30/4 in AAA last year. And you could work off that to reasonably project the 39/4 K/W in the pros. One could easily make the case that he needs to repeat AAA.
struggling to understand what you are talking about here? Jung has never had an OPS below .830 in the minors, it is clearly time to try him at the MLB level. Extending him now worries me, screams of Roughned Odor. Just let him play and be healthy this year, talk extensions later.
I think he’s saying that between AAA and the big leagues last year, Jung had a 69:8 K:BB. That’s awful. Sure, he should be able to hit 25-30 home runs, but that may come with a slash that looks something like this: .240/.280/.460.
very small sample size bud, he barely made it back from a nasty injury. I was just happy to see him on the field at all last year. It’s pretty universal among every evaulation I have seen that hitting is not going to be his issue. Defense might be another story.
I wish more starting pitchers for Team USA stepped up and went to the WBC. I know they had some pretty decent guys like Logan Webb, Clayton Kershaw, and Nestor Cortes before they were injured to decided to not participate, but it would have been awesome to see powerhouses like Max Scherzer, Cobin Burnes, Aaron Nola, or Justin Verlander in the WBC. Heck, even a Joe Musgrove, Zac Gallen, Alek Manoah, or Kevin Gausman would have been awesome to have. It seems like they got the best they could for the line-up and bullpen though.
Exactly what I was just talking to someone about. The US squad has an all-star lineup but a 2nd division SP group at best. I fully agree with you – even if some guys can’t go, where are the 2nd tier starters? The RP group isn’t bad. Just pick two of that last group and the rotation is stellar. I mean, the DR seemed to create a strong rotation.
I think they did the best they could given the bullpen. I’m hoping that the starters they do have can at least go out and give them 4-5 solid innings and then they can bullpen the game from there. But Mexico really exposed their roster’s weaknesses last night. Seems like the rotation is built with a bunch of #3-#4 starters rather than the aces you’d like to see. But to be fair, Team USA won last time with starters like J.A. Happ, Drew Smyly, Chris Archer, and Marcus Stroman. I definitley think the bullpen and starting line-up options are 10x better than in 2017, and the rotation is also better.
Who knows what’s going to happen from here on out. Hopefully the starters can at least give the team a few solid outings and the hitting/relievers can help make up for the mid starting rotation.
Just another season of a few teams spending all the money, just another season of too many games, just another season of Mike Trout (fragile guy) missing 40+ games, just another season of the season beginning too early as usual, just another season of the season ending too late as usual, just another season of overhyped players like Dansby Swanson and the obese/gross Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Just another season of the boring, stupid, IRRELEVANT, gimmicky “World Baseball Classic”, just another season of boring/slow-paced games, just another season of the homerun/strikeout/walk and nothing else, etc. Done with baseball.
So I take it you aren’t a fan?
“Baseball” is IRRELEVANT.
Go away then.
Sheesh. That’s 5 minutes of my life I will never get back in return for mindless drivel from a guy who came to a baseball forum just to say he doesn’t like baseball. The “wow” guy is more compelling