Buster Olney at ESPN surveyed executives around Major League Baseball, and opined on various ways a shortened 2020 season might play out. Among the potential byproducts of a truncated season might be more major league time for young pitching prospects.
Because the season would be cut in half, the innings limits typically used to protect pitchers would mostly be obsolete — there won’t be enough starts for the best young arms to rack up more than 100 innings. And the big leagues might be the only developmental opportunity available to prospects this year.
With the main focus on the major leagues, and the increased relative dependence of minor league teams on gate revenue, it’s not out of the question that there won’t be any formal minor league games this year, outside of maybe games at various spring training complexes. Couple that with the reported MLB proposal of expanded active rosters of perhaps 30 players (up from 26), there would be more room for top prospects in the majors.
For the Dodgers, that could mean Dustin May, who already pitched 34⅔ major league innings in 2019. Ideally the Dodgers would prefer May starts every fifth day, but there might not be an organized structure for him to do so if there are no minor leagues. That would be the logic of calling him up, and using him as needed in games that matter in the majors.
2020 is going to be an odd season, no matter how you slice it. Having room to carry May as an extra at hand would be a nice ancillary benefit.
Links & news
- Sarah Wexler and Ken Gurnick at MLB.com wrote about the best speedster on each team in the NL West. Cody Bellinger is the choice for the Dodgers.
- Bowling Green, from where the Dodgers drafted Orel Hershiser in the 17th round in 1979, announced Friday the cancellation of its baseball program, part of a massive trimming of their athletic budget amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Ben Clemens at FanGraphs explored the world of pitchers throwing non-fastballs to pitchers, and old friends Zack Greinke and Yu Darvish were prominently featured.
- Uninterrupted, the sports media company co-founded by LeBron James, is co-producing a documentary about the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal and the fallout from it. The documentary, tentatively titled ‘Sign Language,’ will run on Quibi at a date to be determined.
- Cliff Corcoran at Baseball Prospectus reviewed ‘The Sandlot.’