Take a look across professional sports right now. The NHL and NBA created bubbles for their players, and they are not producing positive COVID19 tests. It’s something MLB could’ve done but didn’t.
Take for instance the Rogers Centre. It’s literally a baseball stadium with its own hotel. Players for a certain amount of teams could’ve been there and played games there.
Major League Baseball could’ve opted to set up other bubbles as well. Instead, they opted for little to no precautions. Players are free to roam about, and they travel from city to city. It’s the exact circumstance which helped create the Marlins outbreak.
With respect to that outbreak, Major League Baseball let the Marlins decide whether they should play Sunday’s game. That’s right. An infected team awaiting more test results which would come back positive, made the decision to play.
We know the Marlins have seen over half their team infected and see their season out on hiatus for a week. At this point, we really don’t know when they’ll have a sufficient amount of negative tests to either return to play or ever field a roster.
Because of that game on Sunday, the Phillies have been shut down for five days. That was necessary to ensure the Phillies have had sufficient rounds of testing to make sure their exposure did not lead to another outbreak.
This has led to the Yankees and Orioles playing because they didn’t have an opponent to play. So, two teams are shut down and two others have their schedule changed on the fly.
You’d think after seeing what had transpired and how other leagues are handling this vastly superior, you’d think Rob Manfred, and Major League Baseball would realize they need to send a very clear message all protocols must be followed to ensure the 2020 season won’t be cancelled.
They didn’t, and worse yet, they completely and utterly failed in their first real chance to send a message about how seriously they are taking COVID19.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) July 29, 2020
While you may want to argue the length, it’s clear Kelly merited a suspension. You can’t allow pitchers to throw near the heads of players even if those players cheated their way to a World Series and suffered no consequences.
The Kelly suspension was a clear message MLB will not tolerate head hunting. It’s a good message. In fact, it’s as good a message as telling everyone COVID19 protocols need not be followed is horrifically bad.
After Kelly walked away and was mocking Carlos Correa back to the dugout, Correa was going to have none of it. COVID19 or not, he was going to give Kelly a piece of his mind.
And so, instead of following protocols designed to keep everyone safe, Correa started yelling and heading towards the Dodgers dugout. He was restrained and the benches cleared. Everyone who was distancing according to the rules no longer was.
It didn’t matter to Correa there’s a pandemic. It didn’t matter the Marlins team has an outbreak threatening the season. It doesn’t matter numbers are spiking in Houston. All that mattered was his feelings were hurt.
There were people on the field like Dusty Baker, who are high risk. At 71, COVID19 could prove fatal to Baker, but that doesn’t matter. Correa’s swing was mocked.
Inasmuch as Correa didn’t care, Major League Baseball didn’t care. There were no fines, no suspensions, no public statements. This incident went completely unaddressed.
It went unaddressed at a time where we don’t know when or if the Marlins can play again. It went unaddressed in a city with spiking numbers.
No Astros player faced any ramifications for their actions. Between this and the sign stealing, you have to wonder what, if any, of Major League Baseball’s rules actually apply to the Astros players.
You also have to wonder if Rob Manfred actually cares that there’s a pandemic. He’s purposefully having people play the game in cities with increasing numbers. He let an infected Marlins team play another team. He didn’t even bother to issue a weak statement telling players to remember the protocols set in place to keep everyone healthy.
In the end, it’s hard to find evidence Manfred actually cares if people contact COVID19 or not.
Oft times, managers catch too much blame for team losses. For example, last year, people were livid with Mickey Callaway for bringing in Seth Lugo, the best reliever in the game. That actually happened.
Then, there are times like tonight where you really have to wonder what the manager was thinking. Tonight was one of those nights for Luis Rojas.
The Mets had entered the bottom of the seventh with the game tied 3-3. Because life isn’t fair, the Mets failed to get Jacob deGrom a win.
deGrom has allowed just two runs over six innings. Both runs came in the fourth. Rafael Devers and Mitch Moreland hit a pair of doubles, and then deGrom unleashed two wild pitches allowing Moreland to score.
In the sixth, Andres Gimenez, who got his first Major League start at short, came up huge hitting an RBI triple in the sixth. It was his first career triple and RBI. With Lugo coming in, you had to feel good about the Mets chances.
Unfortunately, Lugo hung a curve to Christian Vazquez, who hit a solo homer to tie the game. Still, it was only tied, and the Mets had a chance in the bottom of the seventh.
Jeff McNeil was hit by a pitch, and Pete Alonso singled putting two on with one out. Michael Conforto failed to deliver the RBI, but he did advance the runners. That should have brought up Smith, the team’s RBI leader up against a tired Josh Osich.
To compound the mistake of using Davis as a pinch hitter, Rojas put him in left. That proved wrong when Kevin Pillar hit a fly ball literally every other LF in baseball, Smith included, catches. But that’s what happens when you have to play very deep to accommodate insufficient range to play the position, and Davis lacks the instincts and ability to read the ball causing him to let an extraordinarily playable ball drop in front of him.
That play was all the more problematic because Justin Wilson was on fumes. To put it in perspective, this was Wilson’s fourth appearance, and this was the Mets sixth game.
He would load the bases with one out. After Wilson struck out Devers, the bad luck would start. Moreland has a swinging bunt McNeil could not cleanly pick up. Then, for some reason with Dellin Betances earning and ready in the pen, Rojas stuck with the fatigued Wilson to face the right-hand hitting Vazquez.
Vasquez hit a bleeder past a diving Alonso scoring two giving the Red Sox a 6-3 lead. After Wilson walked Alex Verdugo to reload the bases, Rojas finally went to Betances, who got the Mets out of the inning.
From there, well, the Mets did what they do best. They ripped your heart out.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth, it was 6-4 because Cespedes crushed his second homer of the season in the eighth.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 30, 2020
Brandon Workman had no command whatsoever, and the Mets loaded the bases with no outs. The Mets failed to tie it.
Conforto, who struggled mightily today, struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch on the corner. After an infield single pulling the Mets to within 6-5 because Devers couldn’t make a string enough throw, Cespedes came up.
Cespedes had a poor AB swinging at a 2-0 pitch out of the strike zone and whiffing on a 3-2 flat cutter in the middle of the strike zone. That put the game in Robinson Cano‘s hands. Sadly, he lined weakly to short to end the game.
Frankly, this was an abominable loss. The game was replete with poor at-bats in key spots, and Rojas made a number of mistakes. With Rojas, this is game six for him. We can and should expect better from him.
Game Notes: Jake Marisnick was put on the IL. Ryan Cordell was called up to take his place on the roster. Jordan Humphreys was designated for assignment to make room on the 40 man roster. Alonso had a four hit game.
Before yesterday’s game, the Mets designated Tyler Bashlor for assignment to add David Peterson to the 30 man roster. With the Mets needing a starter and Peterson not on the 30 or 40 yet, the Mets needed to make this move to add him. Looking at the Mets roster, you can certainly make the case Bashlor was the player who should have been designated for assignment.
However, with all that is happening right now, it is fair to ask whether the Mets did the right thing by designating Bashlor for assignment.
Baseball is a business, and there are always tough decisions to make. The Mets made one of them, and on paper, it made sense. However, when you look at what is happening with the Miami Marlins, you do wonder if morally it was the right move to put Bashlor in a precarious situation.
The Miami Marlins have seen over half their roster test positive for COVID19. This has put the Marlins in a precarious spot as they don’t know when their players will be able to return to play. As such, they are in the position where they basically have to go out and claim nearly every player who is put on waivers. With one of the things the Marlins desperately need is pitching, Bashlor may soon have to make a decision.
If the Marlins claim Bashlor, he is going to have to decide between going to a Marlins team we all know is infected with COVID19 or opting out of the season. If he opts out for the season, there is a possibility his MLB career is over, which is something players like Brock Holt have spoken about when begrudgingly deciding to play.
That is an awful situation for a player. On the one hand, he may have to pick playing for a team and exposing himself to a virus which has created long term health issues for other player. On the other, his career, the thing he has worked for his entire life, could be gone. It’s why we see players like Chase d’Arnaud sending out tweets saying he is available to play.
— Chase d'Arnaud (@chasedarnaud) July 29, 2020
In the end, Bashlor may have a decision to make. Maybe for him it is an easy one to make. Maybe, it isn’t. Where his mind is doesn’t necessarily change the fact having to choose between health and a career is a very difficult decision, and you don’t want to have to see people grapple with a decision like that.
You have to assume general managers across baseball are aware of this. When Bashlor was released, Brodie Van Wagenen had to know he was potentially sending him to the largest COVID19 hotbed in not just Major League Baseball, but also the country. You’d like to think Van Wagnenen at least struggled with the decision.
In the end, designating a player like Bashlor for assignment was the right thing to do in terms of baseball. In terms of what is ethical and moral, it is a real gray area which honestly probably does not have a definitive right or wrong answer.
After all, by designating Bashlor for assignment, he is being given the opportunity to go somewhere else to have a chance to play and succeed. That aspect cannot be ignored. For that matter, the pandemic cannot be ignored either, and as we are seeing with the Marlins, this pandemic doesn’t care if this is your chance to prove yourself. It just infects you.
That leaves the rest of baseball wondering if it is worth being on the same field as you. The Washington Nationals voted to not play the Marlins. Soon, Bashlor may have to decide if he wants to pitch for the Marlins or go home, possibly forever.
That’s the situation the Mets have put him in by designating him for assignment. That’s why it is at least fair to ask whether the team should’ve considered the ramifications of their decision and whether they should have kept him for those very reasons.
Major League Baseball is currently facing its worst case scenario. With over half of the Miami Marlins team being infected with COVID19, they’ve been shut down for a week as baseball tries to figure out an alternate schedule to their alternate schedule on the fly.
At the moment, while no one is saying it, no one knows if the Marlins will be able to field a team in a week. We also don’t know what the Philadelphia Phillies tests results will look like in a day or two. To a certain extent, the 2020 baseball season is hanging by a thread.
That is the backdrop to what happened in Houston last night.
Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was lightning rod. First, on a 3-0 pitch, he threw behind Alex Bregman. With this being the Dodgers-Astros, and with the cheating scandal, you can’t help but wonder if this was a message. On that point, it must be noted Kelly wasn’t part of that Dodgers team, and he was part of the Red Sox team who beat the Astros in the ALCS.
Things got worse from there.
In the ensuing at-bat, Michael Brantley would spike Kelly, who was covering first on the fielder’s choice. Brantley also apparently had something to say to Kelly after the play.
You can CLEARLY hear Brantley talking crap to Kelly after HE stepped on Kelly’s foot…ASTROS ARE MAD HURT. pic.twitter.com/jOdyUOnOQT
— Katherine (@itskatttt) July 29, 2020
In the at-bat, Kelly lost control of a curve and it came in on Correa.
Now Joe Kelly throws at Correa
THIS IS GETTING WILD pic.twitter.com/Kd4zgjKzBj
— 2020 Astros Shame Tour (@AsteriskTour) July 29, 2020
Later in the at-bat, Kelly struck out Correa, and he taunted him on the way back to the dugout. Correa was not about to be shown up like that, and he instead yelled at Kelly, started moving towards him, and ultimately, he caused the benches to empty.
Joe Kelly strikes out Carlos Correa, and……
THINGS ARE POPPING OFF IN HOUSTON pic.twitter.com/eLuViD1HMz
— 2020 Astros Shame Tour (@AsteriskTour) July 29, 2020
Lets start with the obvious. No, Kelly should not be throwing at or near people’s heads. That’s not alright, and it merits a suspension in its own right even with Kelly claiming it wasn’t on purpose and his referencing his viral video of his breaking his own window during the shutdown.
Not to sound like a conspiracy theorists, but Joe Kelly clearly broke his own window three months ago in an attempt to cover his tracks for this matchup against the Astros.
— Patrick Lyons (@PatrickDLyons) July 29, 2020
The cynic in you wonders if Kelly was playing the long game here.
On Correa, Major League Baseball needs to come down hard on him. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and there are protocols in place to stop and help prevent the spread of COVID19.
More than the pandemic, there’s the aforementioned situation with the Marlins. Despite all of that, Correa ignored all the protocols, and he didn’t go back to the dugout like Kelly was. He caused the benches to clear.
With what is happening with the Marlins, MLB promised to be more stringent in enforcing the protocols. This was the complete opposite of that. This was causing 50+ people to be in face-to-face contact with one another.
Major League Baseball needs to deliver a message this is not permissible. They need to get control and strictly enforce the measures in place to stop another outbreak and to permit baseball to have a 2020 season.
We can dicker on what constitutes a significant suspension, especially in a 60 game season. Whatever that line is, Correa must receive a significant and lengthy suspension. In fact, a season suspension should not be off the table.
That may seem absurd, but consider this. If a player, coach, or manager, who was on that field had COVID19, Correa’s actions created a situation where that person could’ve more easily spread the virus. Suddenly, we’re now talking three teams shut down. At that point, no one is playing baseball, and the season might be over.
Taking that and everything into account, Correa must be suspended.
The fun part about MLB debuts is you can never quite be sure how it will go. Will they be the player they were in the minors? Will the stage be too big for them? Or, will they rise to the occasion and take their game to the next level?
Peterson raised his velocity from the high 80s to low 90s to 94 MPH. He showed slightly better control. He rose to the big moments.
Case in point was the third inning. Former Met Kevin Plawecki hit a routine fly ball J.D. Davis misplayed into a double. After an ensuing walk to Andrew Benintendi, Brandon Nimmo sprinted and dropped a deep Jose Peraza fly ball to load the bases.
Peterson responded by striking out J.D. Martinez. Then, he got the ground ball he needed. It was an odd play where Robinson Cano was ruled to have caught a ball he seemed to short hop. The second base umpire had a delayed out call leading to Benintendi taking off for third.
Benintendi was finally tracked down in the run down as Plawecki scored. At that time, it was 3-1 Mets.
The Mets got that lead with a three run third. The first run game on a Cano RBI double. After that double, Nimmo was walked to load the bases. Amed Rosario then delivered a bloop single scoring two.
With the lead, Peterson was pitching well despite not getting much help from his defense. As mentioned above, Davis misplayed a ball, and we’d see Jeff McNeil throw a ball away. On McNeil, his arm may be something which needs monitoring because his throws to first haven’t been good. Really, the only standout defensive play came from Michael Conforto.
Michael Conforto, wow pic.twitter.com/yuviWa9DOp
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) July 29, 2020
After that odd third inning run, Peterson starting putting up a string of zeros. That I included his inducing an inning ending double play to end the fifth.
Peterson hit the end of the line in the sixth. Rafael Devers and Kevin Pillar hit a pair of doubles pulling the Red Sox to within 5-2. Drew Smith came in for Peterson, and he had another impressive performance striking out Mitch Moreland to end the inning.
While Smith was impressive, the story was Peterson. He was much better than you could’ve hoped. With the increased velocity and better control, he suddenly changed what could be his ceiling. You could not ask for a better debut than this.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 29, 2020
On that note, Cano started that rally. TGIF was a great night for him where he seemed rejuvenated. Overall, he was 2-for-3 with a run, double, and an RBI.
In fact, for the second straight night, the Mets offense was clicking. Overall, Yoenis Cespedes and Pete Alonso were the only two Mets without a hit. However, both would reach base safely with Alonso drawing a walk and Cespedes getting hit by a pitch.
Overall, if you’re looking for something to lament, Hunter Strickland struggled again allowing a run in the ninth. Still, there’s no need to focus on that with the Mets beating up on the Red Sox again and getting to over .500.
Today would normally be a good day. With Peterson’s great debut, it was a phenomenal day.
Game Notes: Despite entering the game as the team’s RBI leader and homering yesterday, Dominic Smith was benched again. In response to the Marlins COVID19 outbreak, they’re being shut down for the week. The Phillies series against the Yankees has been canceled, and the Yankees will play the Orioles instead.
With Marcus Stroman injured and the Mets senseless use of Corey Oswalt, the team put former first round pick David Peterson on the taxi squad, and they may activate him to make his MLB debut tonight. Certainly, this will be a popular pick among Mets fans who wanted him over Oswalt.
Hopefully, fans expectation levels are reasonable.
To a certain extent, this is like when the Mets called up Mike Pelfrey in 2006. Pelfrey was rushed up to the majors from Double-A because the Mets frankly ran out of starting pitching options. Pelfrey simply was not ready, and he’d pitch to a 5.48 ERA in four starts.
To a certain extent, Pelfrey profiled similar to Peterson. Like Pelfrey, Peterson is a sinkerball pitcher. Unlike Pelfrey, Peterson has a well developed slider with Pelfrey relying on a curve in college and the minors. While they struck out over a batter an inning in Double-A, they expectation for Peterson is he won’t do that in the majors.
It should again be noted Peterson pitched in Double-A last year, and he did not face higher level batters you see in Triple-A. His results in Binghamton were very much a mixed bag.
Overall, Peterson made 24 starts pitching 116.0 innings (4.2 innings per start). He was 3-6 with a 4.19 ERA, 1.345 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, and a 9.5 K/9. Part of the reason for the low innings per start was an injury suffered last year, and it was also the result of his not going deep into games on a consistent basis.
While his traditional stats were not promising, some of the analytical numbers were quite favorable. For example, he had a 3.19 FIP and 2.91 xFIP. Other numbers were not favorable like a 10.5% HR/FB which coincided with a dropping GB%.
These stats coincide with what has been a very mixed opinion on Peterson from the moment he was drafted. When the Mets selected him 20th overall in the 2017 draft, some thought the Mets got a steal. There were some who thought that was the right spot, and there were a few who thought it was an aggressive spot to grab him.
Putting that aside, Peterson does have the stuff which suggests he can be a Major League pitcher. He has a low 90s fastball with sinking action. The spin rates on his fastball and slider are relatively average albeit on the low end of that spectrum. With all of these pitches, there is promise and real hope for improvement.
Therein lies the rub. Peterson is not a finished product. He still needs work on his fastball, change, and slider. Many times, that gets exposed.
On the other hand, Jacob deGrom was able to take his game to a completely different level when he was promoted to the majors. This isn’t to say Peterson will be the next deGrom. He won’t. Rather, at times, the extra adrenaline of pitching in the majors coupled with better coaching, helps a pitcher improve significantly.
Overall, Peterson is a pitcher with real yet still somewhat raw talent. He’s yet to fully hone his arsenal, and we really haven’t seen him have the level of game-to-game consistency you want from a pitcher before calling him up.
That said, the Mets have put themselves into a box and may have to call him up. The hope there is Jeremy Hefner can work with him to accelerate his development, and that the work he’s been putting in translates to him being able to succeed at the Major League level.
It’s certainly possible, but that said, we probably should expect more early Pelfrey than early deGrom.
With the Marlins having a rash of players testing positive for COVID19, there seems to be renewed focus on what players should be doing to protect themselves when they’re on the field. To wit, Brandon Nimmo was asked about wearing a mask while playing, and his answer wasn’t great:
Brandon Nimmo was asked if, in response to the Marlins' situation, he would consider wearing a mask on the field or be more hesitant to high-five teammates in the dugout. His answer: pic.twitter.com/y730H3Pvm6
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) July 27, 2020
The mask discussion is one which never seems to go well, and this was no exception. The part of this quote which was oft cited and criticized was, “Actually for me, I think [the mask] does more harm than good.”
Honestly, it wasn’t the best quote, and it lost some of the measures Nimmo said he is undertaking. Many who reacted didn’t leave much room for interpretation. Although to be fair, that quote didn’t necessarily call for it.
On that note, Justin Toscano of nj.com proffered his interpretation of the quote:
Yeah, I took it as that he doesn't like wearing one when playing baseball because of the comfort level, not that masks don't do anything to prevent spread.
He also said in the session that the Mets are all continuing to wear masks any time they go out anywhere
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) July 27, 2020
The quote may not invite that interpretation, but there may have been more in the question and answer period with reporters which led to that understanding. If you’re still skeptical, Nimmo’s wife provided further context:
On that note, there is a very valid point to not wearing a mask in center. There are no protocols in place which suggest you need masks outdoors while you’re well outside of six feet from another person.
If we want to get into whether he should be wearing a mask at the plate, on the base paths, and in the dugout, that’s a worthwhile discussion. What we’re all doing to prevent the spread of COVID19 is a worthwhile and important discussion, and we all should be having it.
Getting back to Nimmo, he apparently took the position masks aren’t necessary while playing center field. He’s actually correct there. He’s also apparently taking precautions when he’s out in public. That’s great.
Overall, his quote needed to be better to match his actual thoughts, actions, and intentions. It was a poorly stated point, and it won’t be the first or last time a ballplayer fails to fully articulate their point. Fortunately, despite the statement, it appears Nimmo does wear masks when necessary, which is good for him, his family, and the public at large.
Whereas nothing went right in the series finale against the Braves, nearly everything went right against the Red Sox. That was all the more incredible when you consider Amed Rosario and Jeff McNeil ran them out of the top of the first.
Rosario you understood as he was aggressive running to an open base, and honestly, it was shocking to see Xander Bogaerts beat him in a foot race. As for McNeil, he was just picked off.
This didn’t come back to haunt the Mets. For starters, it didn’t because Michael Wacha was very good over five innings against the Red Sox. He kept them off balance with his change, and he was pumping his fastball up to 97 MPH.
The only run off of him was a Mitch Moreland solo homer in the fourth. By then, the game was effectively over.
The Mets offense finally woke up against the bullpenning Red Sox. Every batter reached base safely at least once, and Robinson Cano was the only starter without a hit.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 28, 2020
Then, Pete Alonso got off the snide after struggling much of the early part of the season with an absolute laser over the monster:
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 28, 2020
Then, in the fourth, Dominic Smith hit a three run homer increasing the Mets lead to 7-1:
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 28, 2020
Of course, with this being the Mets, they can’t make anything easy.
Chasen Shreve, making his Mets debut, allowed a homer to Bogaerts in his two innings of work. That made it 7-2 Mets.
Jeurys Familia came on in the eighth, and unfortunately, he did not build on his impressive first appearance of the season.
The problems started when he issued a one out walk to J.D. Martinez. Rafael Devers doubled setting up runners on second a third with one out. Both runs would score leading to Luis Rojas to bring in Seth Lugo for the four out save.
Lugo got out of the eighth, and he retired the Red Sox in order to preserve the 7-4 victory. The Mets are now back at .500 and just hoping to be able to play another day.
Last night, Corey Oswalt was thrust into action, and well, he was terrible. In addition to allowing two inherited runners from Rick Porcello to score, he allowed five runs over four innings. He was sent down after that poor performance.
Looking at Oswalt’s career, it’s difficult to say last night was surprising. After all, over the last two years, he has made 12 starts and seven relief appearances with uninspiring results. Overall, he was 3-4 with a 6.43 ERA and 1.458 WHIP.
There’s nothing there which would suggest last night was a fluke. In fact, last night wasn’t a fluke. Really, last night was a microcosm of why Oswalt has struggled so mightily in his Major League career.
Even if the Mets would not officially confirm it, Oswalt was slated to be the Mets fifth starter. He was supposed to be preparing for a Tuesday start against the Boston Red Sox.
Instead, Oswalt was rushing to warm up to relieve and bail out Porcello. Luis Rojas could have used an actual relief pitcher to get the Mets out of the inning and then switch to Oswalt. He also could’ve gone to Paul Sewald, who has experience entering a game with runner on and giving the Mets multiple innings.
Instead, Oswalt was rushed to warm up and again put in a position to fail. This has been the story of Oswalt’s brief MLB career.
We have seen Oswalt flown cross country and make relief appearances on fewer than three days rest. We’ve seen him sit for weeks unused. He’d been shuttled back-and-forth between Triple-A and the majors and shuffled between the rotation and bullpen.
No pitcher can develop, thrive, and succeed under these circumstances. It’s simply bizarre the Mets continue to do this with Oswalt and expect different results. If this was any team other than the Mets, you’d be shocked a team would treat a prospect this way.
When you look at his career, he really only had one almost normal stretch of starts in the Majors. From July 4 – August 16, he made seven starts (plus an additional one in Triple-A), and he was 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA while averaging 5.1 innings per start.
When you take out his first poor start, which came on the heels of his being unused for over a week, Oswalt was 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA while averaging 5.2 innings per start.
No, these are not great numbers. However, these numbers show the then 24 year old rookie had the ability to pitch at the Major League level. With some time to develop, he could’ve improved and maybe emerged to be more than the fifth starter he appeared to be.
Maybe not. Fact is, we don’t and can’t know. The biggest reason why is the Mets absolutely refuse to put Oswalt in a position where he can succeed. Somehow that includes this year for a team with no starting pitching depth. It’s just ponderous.
Hopefully, at some point someone will present Oswalt with a chance to succeed. When he gets that chance, he may well prove everyone who says he can’t succeed wrong, very wrong. For that to happen, it may have to happen with a different organization, one who believes in helping all of their pitchers succeed.
Less than a week ago, the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves played two exhibition games. After those games, while they have not tested positive, Travis d’Arnaud and Tyler Flowers were shut down with COVID19 symptoms. As a result, they missed the first series of the season.
The healthy Braves travelled to New York, and they played a series against the Mets. As far as we know, the test results for players and personnel on both teams have not been released.
The Marlins went to Philadelphia to play a three game series. Unlike the Braves, the Marlins have seen a rash of positive tests. So far, we know Jorge Alfaro, Jose Urena, Garrett Cooper, and Harold Ramirez have tested positive. While the other names of players and Marlins personnel have not been released, we know there are more . . . a significant number more.
Eight more players and two coaches with the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19, as an outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total of cases in recent days to at least 14, sources familiar with the situation tell me and @JesseRogersESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2020
We know the other Marlins players and Phillies players are awaiting test results. They’re not expected for 24-48 hours. There’s somewhat of a problem here.
Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio had epidemiologist Dr. Zach Binney on this morning. Dr. Binney explained although there could be additional Marlins and new Phillies infected this first round of tests may come back negative. That’s a problem which could only be solved with quarantine or self isolation for five days.
Dr Zach Binney , epidemiologist from Emory U, just told us that in his opinion, the Phillies should shutdown their team for at least 5 days to ensure that they weren’t exposed by a Marlins player. @MLBNetworkRadio
— Jim Duquette (@Jim_Duquette) July 27, 2020
At the moment, the Marlins have been kept in Philadelphia and did not travel to Baltimore to play the Orioles. Tonight’s game has been postponed.
The Yankees, who have traveled to Philadelphia to play the Phillies, are stuck in their hotel as tonight’s game has been postponed. That seems like a fair course of action considering the Yankees will be using the same visitors’ clubhouse the Marlins used.
On the Yankees, they just played a Washington Nationals team who saw Juan Soto test positive. At least according to Dr. Binney’s statements, the Nationals may still see more positives. Those players might’ve infected the Yankees players.
At this point, we just don’t know.
We also don’t know what impact this will have on players and their families. Zack Wheeler just pitched against the Marlins, and his wife recently delivered twins. His entire family, who are all high risk, might’ve been infected.
Boston Red Sox pitcher, Eduardo Rodriguez had COVID19 as well. Currently, he is being tested and evaluated for myocarditis, a condition which diminishes the heart’s ability to pump blood. The myocarditis stems from his COVID19 infection.
We have no idea how this disease will impact people. As we see with Rodriguez, just because you don’t die doesn’t mean you won’t experience significant health issues as a direct result of this disease.
It should be noted Rodriguez’s Red Sox are facing a Mets team who may or may not be infected.
At this very moment, there’s the potential the Braves, Marlins, Mets, Phillies, Nationals, and Yankees have been exposed and infected. There could be more teams past them. For instance, the Royals and Rays have had players test positive this month.
Until MLB can do sufficient testing while accounting for an incubation period, the sport needs to be shut down. For now, based on epidemiologist suggestion, that’s at least five days. Once we get through this period, MLB can then decide if it’s safe to return to play, another five days are needed, or quite possibly, they need to shut it all down.
Regardless of the decision, one thing is clear. No one, especially those teams in the NL and AL East, should be playing today or even tomorrow. Time to shut it down and hope games can begin again soon.