Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Do we really think there’s going to be a season?


I alluded to this in comments on the previous thread…. but it is a question worth asking.

Here’s the rough timeline for the 2020 season:

  • Friday, June 26: Transactions freeze ends at noon ET
  • Sunday, June 28: Teams must submit 60-man player pool names by 3 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, July 1: Teams report to Training Camp 2.0
  • Friday, July 24: New Opening Day
  • Monday, August 31: Trade deadline (usually July 31)
  • Tuesday, September 15: Players must be on big league roster to be eligible for postseason

So, notably, here we sit not even to July 1 yet, and we have the following issues:

MLB has a plan, of course.  And true to MLB fashion, its vague and arguable throughout.  Per the “contingency plan” they can stop the season if:

  1.  if restrictions on travel throughout the country are imposed;
  2. if the season poses “an unreasonable health and safety risk to players or staff to stage those games,”; and
  3. if the competitive integrity of the season is compromised by the number of players who are available.

Those aren’t “or” clauses; they’re “and” clauses.  Meaning all 3 need to take effect.  #2 in particular seems particularly vague enough to basically never be agreed as being true by the 35-40% of this country that still seems to think this pandemic is a joke or a media invention.

I mean, what do you do if the virus hits a team and knocks out a third of their roster?  You can’t possibly ask them to keep playing with a bunch of minor leaguers.  That clearly compromises the integrity of the season.  Meanwhile, we already have players like our own Ryan Zimmerman make pretty cogent arguments that they’re in really tough spots personally to expose themselves to three months of high-risk travel and group settings (If you’re Zimmerman, with an immuno-compromised parent and a small child at home … what would YOU do?)

I dunno.  I think its a frigging mess.  As much as I like baseball and want a season to discuss and analyze, as much as I want to see Max Scherzer vs Gerritt Cole on opening day … part of me thinks we’re gonna get to mid-July and there’s going to be huge roadblocks to play.   We’ll see I suppose.

When our 60-man roster is announced i’ll do another post to talk about it.


Post-publishing addition: I completely forgot to add in concerns  about (some of which was mentioned in the comments):

  • our foreign players actually being able to fly HERE
  • our foreign players actually being allowed to fly home.
  • state-based flying restrictions just announced.
  • the fact that the DC mayor has apparently banned large gatherings and the Nats may not be able to train at home.

just so many issues.

Written by Todd Boss

June 28th, 2020 at 8:33 am

9 Responses to 'Do we really think there’s going to be a season?'

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  1. I just don’t know. This spike in cases needs to start leveling off, I think, within the next couple weeks or so. If cases are still surging and hospitals are overwhelmed by mid-July, it’s hard to see baseball existing in the spaces between this virus.

    Wear a mask, avoid large gatherings, limit your trips out, limit the number of people with whom you have close contact, and practice good hygiene. Those five steps are not that difficult, and there’s plenty of living you can do while practicing them.


    28 Jun 20 at 12:38 pm

  2. Don’t forget that FLA and AZ are on the NY/NJ/CT travel ban list, requiring a 14-day quarantine for folks returning those states. It’s possible that GA, TX, and CA could get added to that list. Even if they play all the games in the NL/AL East, there are problems with the Jays playing anyone, and the Yanks and Mets playing the Rays and Fish, with the Braves possibly being added to that list.

    MLB started dictating its terms, err, negotiating with MLBPA several weeks ago when the forecast looked a lot more optimistic. Based on how long it took the virus to settle the DC metro area was a hot spot — basically three months, with the majority of things closed down — I can’t see things calming enough over the next four weeks in the spiking areas to make the mini-season realistic, all the more since those states aren’t going to shut down.

    As much as I’d like to have baseball, I can’t see how it’s going to happen anywhere close to the current time line.

    And I wouldn’t blame Zim at all for staying home.


    28 Jun 20 at 1:45 pm

  3. Baseball teams are specifically exempt from that quarantine requirement, from what I was reading. I don’t see how Toronto is feasible this year, though, and while it sounds like the Jays prefer to play at their spring complex in Dunedin to leasing space from their Triple-A affiliates in Buffalo, I’ve gotta say, Buffalo seems a heck of a lot safer right now.


    28 Jun 20 at 2:10 pm

  4. A few current points:

    As 60 Mans are out today, and the policy is that is you are off, you are sent home, I wonder if there will be decisions made on players from the DR who are on the bubble who would go home if not on the 60 man? I wonder how that factored into the Adon decision? There are, for example, players from Venezuela – it would likely be a huge developmental mistake to send players like that home.

    Nationals UDFA signee Brian Klein was an All America, played a leading role on a College WS team, and #2 on the D1 Baseball power rankings for second basemen, behind Foscue. 1000 fielding percentage and lots of doubles, great walks to strikeouts. He left with a year left of eligibility. Not a bad signee at 20K.


    28 Jun 20 at 3:34 pm

  5. that was me, sorry Todd.


    28 Jun 20 at 3:36 pm

  6. And there it is…

    Seth Romero makes the 60 Man of the Nationals. As does Yadiel. As does Kyle McGowin. And Stephen Fuentes!

    The shocker to me was….Nick Wells! But all would be surprised to see Tyler Eppler on the list as well.

    Reading the tea leaves, and throwing the punditspeak away, it’s obvious that people who are trending up are Jake Irvin and Jakson Reetz. Not too many teams are carrying six catchers, but the Nats are. Congratulations to Aaron Barrett as well – the storybook chapter ends, but the story hasn’t.


    28 Jun 20 at 4:36 pm

  7. I seem to have been higher on Fuentes than most. He had an outstanding season . . . if you discount the PED bust (not sure what becomes of the last month of his suspension).

    Rutledge, Romero, Adon, and Cronin make it, and Nick Wells! Mario Sanchez doesn’t. Neither does Cole Freeman, which doesn’t really surprise me. Jake Irvin is a surprise, as there seemed to be disappointment in his 2019, and talk of making him a reliever already.


    28 Jun 20 at 8:21 pm

  8. Jake Irvin is not a surprise. Last spring, the braintrust was very high on him. He was expected to move quickly. But he started slowly, but then finally really hit his gear and finished strong.

    He’s not on an innings limit, he’s older and had an accomplished career on the big stage of the Big 12. Good signs and good draftee.


    28 Jun 20 at 9:10 pm

  9. new posted on the 60-man

    Todd Boss

    29 Jun 20 at 10:40 am

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