Around the Horn- News 7/10/20
Updated: Dec 30, 2020
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Let's catch up on the last week or so of activity from around the MLB. With only a week to go until the opening day, these moves are more and more critical.
Buster Posey C for the San Fransico Giants is sitting out the season. Joey Bart's time is now. The situation is simple for Posey and his wife, as they just adopted twins born prematurely. Congrats to his family and nothing but respect from me. Posey will go down as one of the best to ever play C when his career is over, and it's not there yet.
Masahiro Tanaka P for the NY Yankees is making progress as he goes through light workouts after getting a concussion off a liner from Giancarlo Stanton.
In my opinion, the NY Yankees Closer and the best closer in the game, Aroldis Chapman, has tested positive for COVID-19. He will not be in camp for what Boone calls "foreseeable future," NOT suitable for the Yankees who are going for it all. He should be back early enough that it won't destroy the pen as Zach Britton's former O's closer is still there. In his first AB, NY Yankees STAR Slugger Aaron Judge back hit a BOMB off of James Paxton. I think it's safe to say he is ready to mash!
Which also means Paxton is back and healthy for the Yankees and will be the game two starter for the Yankees
More good news for the Yankees as All-Star 2B DJ LeMahieu is rejoining the team after recovering from COVID-19.
In more news around NY, the Mets are not only close to possibly being sold finally, but ace Jacob deGrom had an MRI that "didn't show anything concerning" and is considered day-to-day. With how deep the rotation is, deGrom may miss a little bit of time, but I don't see him missing much more than one start to start the season.
However, good news for the LA Dodgers as Kenley Jansen is back in camp after having COVID-19, which is why he was late to camp. The Dodgers' great thing as they need him to lock down wins for them in the 9th.
Jordan Hicks, the flamethrower for the St. Louis Cardinals, is opting out for the season. Hicks is citing pre-existing health concerns as the reason he is sitting out. I mean, this is a smart move for Hicks and the Cards long term. Keep him healthy now, and with where I have them finishing, it will be for the better later.
Byron Buxton Out Fielder for the Minnesota Twins, hurt his foot due to a misstep in the OF during an intrasquad game. Buxton is coming off a short season where he played on 87 matches. However, when the 27-year-old is on the field, he is dangerous with his speed. In more good news for the Twins, after a concerning amount of positive tests, 3B/1B Miguel Sano was cleared to return to activities.
With something interesting here, Bryce Harper is taking reps at 3B for the Phillies. Third base is a position for the Phillies that could pay off the club long term if Harper is good enough.
Another somewhat move we kind all kind of saw coming, Vlad Guerro Jr. 3B for the Toronto Blue Jays, will soon enough be 1B of the Toronto Blue Jays. The move would be the right long term move for the club and him to make now. He has been working there in intra-squad games. Also, Jay's CP Ken Gieles is ALREADY tied to trade rumors but would love to stay in Toronto if they could work out a contract. More news for the Jay's as Chase Anderson is now day-to-day with an oblique injury. The injury opens the door a bit more for Nate Pearson to get his shot.
Free Agent, well former free agent OF Yasiel Puig, has signed with the Atlanta Braves. GREAT for the Braves as they needed some insurance around the team with all the COVID-19 test results. The move helps the Braves a ton, adding a great DH bat familiar with the NL/AL, just an excellent job all around.
Key bullpen piece for the Houston Astros in Joe Smith opts out for the season. The Astros will be more than okay as they have plenty of depth to work with, and I am not too worried about losing Smith. In terms of playoffs, this hurts the most. Astros starter J.V. was labeled a "sh**show" out of college who is now going down as one of the best. He will be starting opening day for the Astros.
After an MRI of Chicago Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo has shown his back spasms stem from rib inflammation on his left side. The injury should put Rizzo down for a bit; however, this doesn't put him out 100%. I do think Rizzo will play through this as much as possible when games start. In other news for the Cubs, SP Jose Quintana will resume throwing after hurting his thumb while washing dishes.
With some more news from Chicago, the White Sox top prospect Michael Kopech will not participate in the 2020 season. The White Sox vet SP Dallas Keuchel is looking like White Sox great Mark Buehrle. All of this pitching is happening while Tim Anderson is chucking his bat after hitting BOMBS!
For the Detroit Tiger's, the young OF of Derek Hill and Riley Greene are making crazy catches, and SP Mathew Boyd is back with the team as a COVID-19 scare. Bryan Garcia was once a great closer prospect and is now climbing the ladder again for the Tigers.
For the Seattle Mariners, they are preaching patience with the young core of Julio Rodriguez and Jared Kelenic, among others. However, it's hard to be patient with Kelenic right now as he is crushing the MLB pitching in camp and just doing all the right things. I 100% Kelenic to make the roster out of summer camp and quickly become too hard to be patient. In other Mariner news, new SP Kendall Graveman has added a 96MPH 4seam fastball to his mix, and this should help his 2seam fastball, which he uses 60% of the time. Add in 2nd round pick Zach DeLoach and 3rd round pick Kaden Polcovich were playing and starting in intra-squad action.
I love the Oakland A's and the different things they do for baseball. They are just one heck of a growing team. The A's are considering using piggyback starters, like Manea, then Fiers for games, and then possibly using multi-inning relievers. The idea here is to keep the bullpen arms as fresh and useful for as long as possible and give them more flexibility along the way, The A's are also down prospect Jesus Luzardo due to a positive COVID-19 test, but this is good for the A's long term. Luzardo looks to be somewhere between an SP and Multi-Inning relief kind of guy.