Bomber and Hunting Report looks a bit different in February compared to previous years for obvious reasons, but even in these strange times we’re in, spring training is a special time.
Officially, it begins with the first date of today’s Archer and Hunter Report. So as players start sneaking into the campsites in Florida and Arizona, let’s evaluate the eight biggest events of the spring.
1. Game adjustments
To the series of health and safety measures that players, coaches and employees must adhere to in the abbreviated 2020 season, we add New code of conduct Includes contact tracing devices and a quarantine throughout spring training. Exhibition attendance will be limited, access restricted.
On the field, this spring is a good time for National League shooters to pick up bats again with the expectation that the established global hitter rule will not apply (unless the MLB and MLB Players Association bring this issue back to the table before opening day). Florida teams will play more regional schedule than in years past, and directors can agree to shorten show games if nine rounds are not deemed necessary.
So, like a lot in our world, spring training will look a lot different this year.
2. Stretched thin?
Injuries – and especially field injuries – are an unfortunate, unavoidable side effect of those good feelings of spring training. But teams are preparing for more than the usual number of questionable weapons this spring, due simply to the way the 2020 schedule has turned around with the shutdown in mid-spring and midsummer.
Freshmen will span a 162-match season following an unprecedented 60-game season (Astros Lefty Framber Valdez 94 2/3 and Post-Season Tournaments were the most in MLB), and each team would have their own approach.
Those who successfully pass this challenge and rest in something like full strength will be in a much better position for the regular season.
3. Too many weapons?
There doesn’t seem to be a better equipped team to handle the above than the Dodgers, who have already expanded their deep weapon range with Signed by Trevor Bauer. And if health cooperates, the world champions will have to defend some difficult decisions to make.
Julio Urías, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin all deserve the opportunity to get started, but there’s only so much space in the inn. Did Los Angeles put any of these guns on its to-do list, or are May and Gunsolin now linked in triple after seasons of strong rookie? Are you dealing with David Price? Does Bauer get his wish to start every fourth day? (The latter appears to be extremely doubtful.)
4. New treasures along Treasure Coast
There is a lot of star power roaming the Cardinals Club in Jupiter, Florida, and the Mets Club in Port St. Lucie. Nolan Arenado He is the best player in NL the warDuring the past seven seasons. Francisco Lindor It is MLB’s Best Short Center, by bWAR, for the past 6 years. It’s a big deal for a single player of this caliber to fit in a new team, let alone two, and both Arenado and Lindor achieve the leadership with their gloves and wood.
Barring injury, the success of those blockbuster movies clearly won’t be dictated by the results of the Grapefruit League. But for the fanbase involved, those first photos of Lindor and Arenado playing Earthball and taking BP in their new unit would be a huge thrill. Because of the Grapefruit League’s regional schedule, Card and Mets will face each other in six out of 24 matches, so these two stars will be watching a lot from each other in March.
5. Meet the new president
In two cases, the new manager is the same as the old boss. Alex Cora takes back the reins of the Red Sox after a year in exile in baseball, and the primary organizational goal will be to get the field, which now includes Garrett Richards in rotation and Adam Ottavino in the Bullpen game, to get back on track.
And Terry Francona is back in the tribe after missing most of 2020 – including his AL Wild Card series – due to health issues. Francona is a familiar face in Goodyear, Arizona, but his club in Cleveland looks a lot different (and younger) with the departure of Lindor, Carlos Carrasco and Carlos Santana. There are lots of options for sorting in field center, short base, and first base.
The only two new legally appointed employees are at AL Central. AJ Hinch takes charge of an increasingly interesting Tigers team with growing rotation talents. But the biggest spring management story was in Glendale, Arizona, where 76-year-old Tony La Rossa is back at work with the White Sox nearly a decade after he “retired” and seven years after the Hall of Fame party kicked off. How will he team up with the young and rookie Sox?
6. Bounce a bounce back
Spring training is a good time for players returning from injury to reclaim their groove.
That’s what the Yankees are hoping for from new additions Corey Kloper, who cast one role last year with a shoulder problem, and Jameson Tillon, who cast a zero due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Citizens hope that the second year of Stephen Strasbourg’s massive extension will be much better than the first year, when carpal tunnel surgery limited it to five rounds. Slow Astros player Jordan Alvarez is back from major knee surgery, Cardinals right Miles Mikulas from forearm surgery, Braves right Mike Soroka returns from a horrific Achilles tendon injury, and new Blue Jays loyal Kirby Yates will return from an elbow surgery.
7. Youth will be served
The lack of a secondary league season in 2020 has drastically changed the development paths of many potential clients. It is clear that the terms of service time affect the player’s upgrade schedules. But there are a lot of hugely promoted young players who might find themselves on opening day rosters if they come to camp.
Atlanta Christian Patch (No.12 overall likelihood, per MLB pipeline) He could highlight Braves’ positioning job at the center after he landed four in the regular season 2020 and show some impressive defense in the post-season period. White Sox first policeman Andrew Vaughn (# 14 overall) and can be recruited into the DH role. The pirate is a third base man Kebrian Hayes (No. 9), Cardinals defensive player Dylan Carlson (No. 13) and the Twins outfielder Alex Kirillov (No. 26) She should have a place in the opening day squad.
Meanwhile, a group of shooters from the Top 100 Expectations have been shortlisted or could claim one if injuries or performance dictate, including Blue Jays’ Nate Pearson (Number 10 overall), tigers Casey Miz (No. 11) and Check out the Skubal (No. 24) Marlins Sixto Sanchez (No. 15), Radiology Luis Patiño (No. 19) The Mariners Logan Gilbert (No. 33), White Sox Michael Kubisch (No. 39), The Astros’ Forrest Whiteley (No. 41) Phillies Spencer Howard (No. 42), the Indians Tristone Mackenzie (No. 51) The Yankees Clark Schmidt (No. 88).
8. The free app is not over yet!
Let’s not forget, as we write this, our three members List of Top 25 Free Proxies – Jackie Bradley Jr., Jake Odorizzi, and Taijuan Walker – still available. The same goes for Trevor Rosenthal, Rick Porcello, the other players on the field and dozens of role-players or usable pieces (Yacel Puig, anyone?).
So, clubs facing unforeseen injuries or circumstances have options there. And of course, the commercial market can spread again, especially late in the camp. This might not necessarily mean that Kris Bryant’s groundbreaking movie is on its way to debut, but it does mean that transactional shifting is still open for business.
Fortunately, so are the spring training camps.