In a vacuum I understand the Yankees’ frustration with having to burn one of their two remaining offdays — September 8th — to make up one of the washed-out Orioles games. Off-days are precious this time of the season.
I’m also sympathetic to Joe Girardi’s argument that there should have been a doubleheader scheduled for Friday. It seemed like a no-brainer at the time given the weather forecast and I still can’t think of a rational reason why the Orioles wouldn’t go for it.
Finally, I’m less-than-impressed with those who have cited Mike Flanagan’s death as a reason why the Orioles couldn’t be expected to be more reasonable and flexible about all of this. They’re totally different issues and, sadly, teams have had to deal with the death of one of their own before, including active players and coaches.
But like I said, that’s in a vacuum. It’s significant with respect to fairness from-team-to-team and all of that. But not in an absolute sense. And there is a limit to how much patience I have for anyone complaining too much about the schedule disruptions. And the reason for that is explained fairly well in this Boston Globe article on the subject today:
One could make the case that schedule and travel issues are overrated, and they often are. Baseball travel is better even than first class for the average Joe, where everything is taken care of for you. Hotel accommodations are first class. Players do not want for any convenience, and of course, they can always sleep on the plane.
You’re familiar with the “first world problems” meme? This is, like, supra-first-world-problems. Put your big boy pants on and deal with it.
(thanks to MooseinOhio for the heads up)
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are keeping an eye on outfield prospect Luis Robert. The 19-year-old left his native Cuba last November and is expected to command interest from multiple MLB teams as he approaches free agency. Goold adds that the Cardinals sent scouts to evaluate Robert’s workouts in the Dominican Republic as recently as last week.
There’s still a good chance that the club won’t get a shot at signing him; as Craig mentioned last month, it seems likely that Major League Baseball won’t declare Robert a free agent until after June 15. By July 2, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement’s policies on international bonuses will go into effect, handcuffing teams with the maximum penalty for bonuses to a $300,000 signing figure for any available international prospect. It’s designed to effectively take away those teams’ abilities to sign additional international talent, and the Cardinals have already spent a reported $9.35 million in bonuses on Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia, Cuban outfielders Jonatan Machado and Randy Arozarena and Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo.
Until the cutoff in mid-June, the Cardinals are likely to continue actively scouting other international talent, including Robert. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez quotes an anonymous National League scouting director who describes Robert as the No. 2 talent behind Japanese wunderkind Shohei Otani. The 19-year-old hit .286/.319/.397 with a .716 OPS during a 16-game run in the Canadian-American League in 2016, following up an impressive three-year tenure with the Ciego de Avila in the Cuban National Series from 2013-2015.