With the excitement of the announcement that baseball is returning, we are under a month from opening day. While fans won’t be in attendance, at least initially, there is still a buzz in the air for some normalcy in the life of a sports fan.
With the anticipation of the season starting, let’s take a look at some of the biggest news stories from around the world of baseball.
Great Way To Start The Season
At this point, the whole schedule for the condensed season has not been finalized, but according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and Andrew Marchand, opening night might be.
Set to begin on July 23, opening night may feature the likes of the defending champion Washington Nationals against the New York Yankees. Even more enticing, it may feature Max Scherzer against Gerrit Cole.
Granted, some enthusiasm should be tempered, as with a brief spring training 2.0, it is likely that neither pitcher would go exceptionally long in the game, but it is still a matchup worthy of an opening night.
While most teams won’t get started until July 24, this would certainly be a good way to start.
What Will The Trade Deadline Look Like This Year?
In what is sure to be a whirlwind of a season, there are certain aspects of the upcoming season that may be lost on the average fan. First, the basics.
There are only going to be 60 games to determine a playoff field. Teams will play 40 games against teams within their division and 20 against teams in the corresponding interleague division (for example, the NL Central will play the AL Central).
Part of the confusion, though, will be around rosters. There are currently no minor leagues planned; instead, teams will have a “taxi squad” to choose from.
Basically, each team can have 60 players that they designate as either part of their active roster or can be called up (in the case of something like an injury).
Still, to be called up, the player would have to be on the 40-man roster, possibly making a general manager’s life a nightmare, especially if there were to be an outbreak of the coronavirus on a team.
What is most interesting is the trade deadline. There is still set to be a trade deadline this year, but it will be set for Aug. 31. Given that the league isn’t set to begin play until towards the end of July, this will be a super abbreviated timespan to determine whether to be buyers or sellers and the hard decision of trading someone during a pandemic.
To clarify some of the rules, though, only a player that is in that pool of 60 players can be traded, which obviously will significantly limit a team’s ability to trade for some prospects.
Despite the uncertainty, the season is still set to be an exciting sprint where every game is absolutely crucial to a team’s ability to make the postseason.
Brebbia Out With Tommy John Surgery
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Cardinals reliever John Brebbia is out for the foreseeable future, as he had Tommy John surgery towards the beginning of the month.
Last season, Brebbia went 3-4 with a 3.59 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and struck out 87 in 72 2/3 innings. He was truly a workhorse for the Cardinals last year, and his absence will be a big blow for the team’s pen.
At 30 years old, Brebbia hopes that he can recover and be an asset at some point in the 2021 season.