this week in baseball

This Week in Baseball

www.franchisesportsmedia.com

 

As we take a look at this week in baseball, the eyes automatically shift towards the negative. It’s hard to ignore the COVID-19 positive cases popping up throughout the league, and also the growing list of injuried players that seems neverending. Yes, some teams are dominating right now, but the realization is that all it takes is a tiny pebble on the asphalt to send them tumbling down face first.

 

The virus hinders another series

Photo Credit: Redbird Rants

The St. Louis Cardinals became the next team stricken with the COVID-19 virus, and their weekend series with their long time rivals, the Chicago Cubs was canceled. The Cardinals haven’t played a game since July 29th due to an outbreak that resulted in 14 players and staff testing positive. Then with another player testing positive Friday of last week, it was decided just to forgo another series.

That’s a lot of time without baseball for a team, and the repercussions could have a long term effect on so many factors. Countless injuries are happening around the league right now, and the experts believe that the start, stop, then start again schedule is to blame. The wear and tear of baseball player’s daily repetition are now combined with the possibility of a cool-down period.

MLB is already under fire by the media around the sports world for the way that the league is handling Coronavirus. The reports of a shutdown coming every week still hasn’t come to fruition, and from the outside, it seems that MLB will just keep on, “keeping on.” 

You have to give it to them. Persistent testing with timely results and executing the preventive measures to keep other teams safe is a big feat with which they are somewhat succeeding. Without MLB playing in a bubble, the fault will not only be placed on the MLB, but it will also undoubtedly fall on the player’s shoulders as well.

This Week In Baseball
Photo Credit: Axios

Players will hold each other accountable if teams are unable to follow the guidelines that were set per agreement by the MLB and the MLBPA. When the Marlins were breaking protocol and going out on the town, it sparked a plethora of other players to take to social media and chastise the Florida players for being so reckless.  

The fact of the matter is the virus can strike anytime throughout this entire season, and the only thing the players can do is take the necessary precautions, no matter how tedious they may seem. That is, of course, if they want to continue to play baseball this season.

 

Pitching woes…

And now for the next hitch in the plan, the bump in the road if you will. The amount of injuries to pitchers this season is genuinely worrisome, and it brings more concerning elements to the debate if baseball should even be happening this year. 

 

This Week In Baseball
Photo Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta

The list of pitchers that have been placed on the IL during this shortened season is staggering. The most recent being added to the list last week,  was Nationals RHP Max Scherzer, exiting after only throwing 27 pitches in the one inning last Wednesday against the Mets

Scherzer had injured his hamstring during warmups and downplayed the seriousness of it, mainly blaming it more on the warmup than the season itself, but the trend is gaining steam for sure. The Astros have another victim in their pitching staff in the form of their closer, Roberto Osuna

Osuna has been placed on the 10-day IL with an elbow injury, something that is very common amongst all the injuries. Reports are that it is in a similar category as Justin Verlander’s injury, which may require surgery.

Osuna joins a list of other injured Astros players with Chris Devenski,  Austin Pruitt, Brad Peacock, and of course, Justin Verlander. The Astros find themselves struggling to gasp for air. Dusty Baker, manager of the Astros, spoke to MLB.com about the injuries and how a team can fill the holes in the rotations:

“It’s all-around baseball; it’s everywhere. I’m hoping we learned a lesson by this. It couldn’t be helped because of the Coronavirus, but I’m just hoping we don’t see any more injuries around the league, especially on our team.”

“Everybody is looking for the same thing, everybody’s got the same problems almost–pitchers going down. There’s only so many guys out there, so many quality guys out there.”

 

This Week In Baseball
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

Atlanta Braves RHP Mike Soroka suffered a major injury last week when he tore his Achilles’ tendon while pitching against the Mets. Soroka turned to run to cover first after a hit, but as he pushed off his foot on the mound, he collapsed to the ground and began rolling around in pain. It was disclosed after the game that he would be out for the rest of the season and will require surgery.

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker spoke to ESPN briefly about the injury after the loss to the Mets.

“It’s a freak thing that happened; I’m sorry that it did.”

Now the Braves are without Soroka, their Ace pitcher, LHP Cole Hamels is still working on getting back, building up his arm from the shoulder inflammation and triceps tendinitis that sidelined him. RHP Felix Hernandez opted out, and they designated RHP Mike Folynewicz for assignment after his rough start against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Braves are in desperate need of some pitching.

This will not be the last injury of the season, and by the looks of things, it may only get worse from here. This is a two-punch knock out for the world of baseball, a duo of destruction that will dominate the 2020 season, COVID, and injury. As baseball continues to move forward, September will be here in no time, following up will be October and the postseason lights.

 

Teams are already starting to take shape and become that solid force to be reckoned with. The same can’t be said for any team that has to be placed on lockdown I’m afraid. I wonder what will happen in the postseason? What the atmosphere will be like, and how many players will make it to the finish line? This season continues to be as strange as a science fiction novel of some sort. I kind of want to flip to the last page to see the ending, for the player’s sake.  

 

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-Joshua Rushford – Franchise Sports Media

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