Hitting .159 on June 1, Carlos Santana has turned his season around in a huge way

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Carlos Santana homered in both games of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Twins and the Indians switch-hitter has been such a force at the plate that it’s hard to remember he was hitting .159 as of June 1.

But it’s true, Santana had a .159 batting average through two months of the season while struggling defensively in an attempt to transition from catcher to third base.

Coincidence or not Santana’s last game at third base came on May 22 and since then he’s hit .279 with a .404 on-base percentage and .543 slugging percentage in 89 games, including 22 homers, 17 doubles, and 64 walks on the way to a .947 OPS.

Among all American League hitters during that same span Santana ranks first in walks, third in on-base percentage, fourth in homers, and sixth in slugging percentage. And now, even including his brutal first two months, Santana’s overall OPS is .818 compared to his career mark of .815. That’s a helluva turnaround.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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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.