The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers

Chad Jennings at The Athletic:

... holy smokes, what a plot twist! Barely a month after one of the most divisive, difficult, controversial trades in Red Sox history, we’re no longer sure exactly what the team gave up. This presumably was not a part of the plan – surely Chaim Bloom didn’t trade his best player in anticipation of a pandemic – but it certainly could impact the final analysis. Call it random chance, blind luck, or the ripple effect of unforeseen circumstances. Call it karmic payback for the lost game of strike-shortened 1972, which cost the Red Sox a shot at the playoffs. Fact is, the Red Sox might have built for the future by trading away the most expensive and least valuable season of Betts’ career to date.

Of course, we don’t know that. We don’t know when the season will begin, if it will begin, how long it will last, and how service time calculations will be adjusted accordingly. If the season is canceled – which currently seems unlikely, but perhaps not out of the question – would Betts become a free agent as expected, or would he be granted zero days of additional service time in 2020 — meaning he’d remain one season away from the free-agent market? Would the Dodgers get to use him in 2021 instead? Is it possible a severely shortened season would tilt advantage the other way, giving the Dodgers control of Betts for a full season and a partial season?

.... Essentially, in a worst-case scenario for the league – an entire season lost with players still granted a year of service time and Betts hitting the open market as scheduled – would result in the Red Sox giving up $16 million-plus David Price’s age 35 and 36 seasons in exchange for $42 million of salary relief, a new right fielder (Alex Verdugo), the system’s top middle-infield prospect (Jeter Downs), easily their top catching prospect (Connor Wong), plus a reset of luxury tax penalties worth millions.

All just the unforeseen byproduct of an unprecedented crisis, which has left everything – including a trade we’ve been digesting for a month – in a new state of uncertainty.

Alex Patton Alex

I would have preferred that we just auction on 4/4 (our scheduled date), but I think only a couple of owners besides me didn't want to delay, so delay it is.  

Mike Dean TMU2009

Seadogs, I've proposed to my league if the season starts later than May to combine points for this year and next and have the biggest purse ever for a winner. 

van wilhoite LVW
Josh Donaldson Minnesota Twins

IF the entire season gets cancelled does that mean Donaldson could win back to back Comeback Player of the Year awards in 2021?

van wilhoite LVW

Sadly my leagues are voting to delay the drafts until the new season. I'd prefer the draft now with the added uncertainty (using Roster Resource on Fangraphs as the source for who is up), but for some real life is crazy (key professions) and others don't want the uncertainty.  For me, we'd get a regular draft plus a really exciting first week of FAABs given the changes that will happen. Oh well ... nothing to do about it except whine here and order OOTP 21 which comes out in a few days.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Connor Brogdon Philadelphia Phillies

From an article by Megham Montemuro yesterday in The Athletic:

Brogdon, 25, finds himself in an odd limbo. A minor leaguer, he was still in big-league camp as a non-roster invitee when MLB canceled the rest of spring training Friday. Brogdon figured he wasn’t making the Phillies out of camp and would open the year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, so fortunately, he planned ahead. To keep some money in reserve to supplement the low minor-league pay, Brogdon had been saving as much as he could from his spring training per diem, which comes out to roughly $1,300 per week for players at big-league camp.

“I mean, the first thing that came to mind was obviously what am I going to do financially without any money?” Brogdon said by phone Monday. “I know there’s a lot of people who are out of sports and around (Fresno, Calif.), where I live right now. So I was thinking of maybe doing lessons or something just to not only make some money, but also kind of stay in shape myself.

“Like my minor-league friends, we don’t know what we’re going to do really, financially,” he added. “It came out of nowhere, nobody expected this. It’s just like a whirlwind of chaos. Everybody’s kind of just scrambling, panicking, trying to make arrangements to get home, and then finances. I know a lot of other guys are pretty concerned.”

Alex Patton Alex
Darick Hall Philadelphia Phillies

From The Athletic:

Phillies first base prospect Darick Hall has everything he needs at his home in Hereford, Ariz., about an hour southeast of Tucson, to stay ready during the layoff — however long it lasts. Two years ago, Hall and his best friend built a 55-foot batting cage with a pitching machine on his one-acre yard. It’s where he hits in the offseason, and it’s an ideal setup to stay in baseball shape. Hall, 24, considers himself one of the luckier ones, at least when it comes to his access to baseball equipment. He is operating under the assumption that he and other minor leaguers won’t get paid until the season starts. Hall said he is waiting for more information on when that might be before determining whether he needs to find a job in the interim. He took college classes during the offseason, and needs five more to earn a degree and graduate; if he ends up needing to get a winter ball job because of a canceled or significantly delayed season, that could affect his education plans, too.

Alex Patton Alex
Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Justin Verlander Houston Astros

If there was ever a good time to have groin surgery for a pitcher, or anyone else, I guess it would be now.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

Was Lux really a "lock"?

Yes, his AAA line was awesome.  But there's a list of quality established ballplayers who would have to sit on the bench for him to have guaranteed PT - assuming that the Dodgers had 4 positional "locks" in OF/IF - Bellinger, Betts, Seager, Turner - that left PT at 3 positions to divvy up between:
Max Muncy - 133 OPS+
Joc Pederson 127 OPS+
AJ Pollock 108 OPS+ 
Chris Taylor 108 OPS+
Kike (please add an accent!) Hernandez 117 OPS+ in 2018

In other words - it never seemed a guarantee to me that Lux was going to get a full-time second base job right out of camp.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Nick Castellanos Cincinnati Reds

One thing we know for certain.  The shortened season will mean fewer weekly FAAB cycles.  Spend early and often!

John Hobbs Real-Joker

The consensus No. 2 prospect in all of baseball is changing his swing?

Gavin Lux (2B) LA - Mar. 17

Lux could begin the season in the minor leagues, Ken Gurnick of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Lux was widely considered to be a lock for the starting second base job entering spring training, but he logged only four starts at the position in Cactus League play while primarily focusing on reworking his swing. Though the 22-year-old did hit a solid .276 in spring contests, the Dodgers have a plethora of veteran options at second base -- including Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez -- so they may elect to keep Lux in the minors at the start of the season. 

Alex Patton Alex
Willie Calhoun Texas Rangers

More than likely, I'd say.

Willie Calhoun (OF) TEX - Mar. 17

Calhoun (jaw) will begin light cardio activities later this week, T.R. Sullivan of reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Calhoun was the victim of an errant fastball to the face during Cactus League action and required surgery to repair his fractured jaw. He's currently exhibiting no concussion symptoms, so he should be able to resume activities shortly. He had been expected to miss time at the start of the regular season, but with Opening Day delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's possible he won't wind up missing any games.

Alex Patton Alex
J.T. Realmuto Philadelphia Phillies

We're going to have a hella revise when the games come back, for these reasons. But until we know what the season is it's impossible to assess playing time issues. 

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman

I'm not sure it's as much the cumulative innings as it is the innings per week/month for catchers (and relief pitchers). (Not that the cumulative innings are irrelevant.) I think I'd bump it up some, but not as much as 90+%.

mike fenger mike
Emilio Pagan San Diego Padres

Clearly will be taking a hit not being in the closing role.

But a strike shortened season is going to make for some interesting pitcher use decisions.

For example ... do you take advantage of a theoretical 120 game season to maximize the number of your teams 1050 or so innings your 5 starters can throw ...

or do you instead take advantage of as many innings you can get from Pagan, Stammen, and Pomeranz (quite reasonable to expect 210 high quality innings out of the 3 even over 4 months instead of 6) ... which means with Yates getting 50 or so with your bullpen you end up around 400+ innings ... meaning your 5 starters only have to throw around 140-100 innings each?

In the latter case - a high quality reliever like Pagan might end up throwing 70% of the innings of a #5 starter, instead of 40-50%.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
J.T. Realmuto Philadelphia Phillies

I buy that and would extend the reasoning to all star players including pitchers. If there is a shortened season, but you know the powers don't want that.

Gene McCaffrey GeneM

Thinking about shortened season effects - and one might be that the presumption that a stud catcher like Realmuto's value is likely to be capped by playing time.

But if we end up with a 120 game season, the Phillies might be more inclined to have Realmuto catching 90+% of their games, instead of the 84% in the Rotoman projection.

Especially with his FA season looming ...

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Mar 17

Maybe the thought is to play actual spring training games for a week or two in home ballparks, keeping travel distance to a minimum and charging reduced ticket prices, which is actually not a bad idea. I know I'd go up to the Bronx or out to Queens to watch exhibition games in June if I didn't go broke in the process.

With the novelty -- and the relief -- the TV ratings would more than pay for the hotels.

Alex Patton Alex
Mar 17
Jake Lamb Arizona Diamondbacks

Digging deeper into his "bad BABIP luck"...

Lamb ranked third in the majors in hard-hit percent (minimum 200 plate appearnces). But the average exit velocity of all the balls he hit was 90.4 mph, which was nothing special: 71 players with at least 200 PA hit the ball harder.

As you would expect, there's a strong correlation between Hard% (Fangraphs) and average exit velo (Statcast). The exceptions, like Jake Lamb, make you wonder.

Alex Patton Alex
Mar 17

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