Prince Fielder is not in Saturday night’s lineup for the Rangers, ending a streak in which he has played in 547 consecutive games. MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that Fielder has been diagnosed with a herniated disk in his neck and will be sidelined for at least a couple of games. He’ll receive a nerve-blocking injection which could allow Fielder to get back into the lineup on Tuesday.
It’s just the latest in a long line of injury reports for the Rangers, who recently lost pitchers Martin Perez and Matt Harrison and have 13 players in total on the disabled list.
Fielder has had a hard time at the plate in his first season with the Rangers, slashing .247/.360/.360 in 178 plate appearances. Fielder said the herniated disk has been an issue that he has been dealing with even during his time with the Tigers last season.
The Rangers are expected to demote a reliever to clear up a roster spot and call up a position player, likely Daniel Robertson.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.
Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.
If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.
Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.