Matt Holliday is working out at first base today

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Matt Holliday has played 1,635 games in his career. 1,593 of them have come in the outfield, 22 of them at DH and the rest in various pinch-hitting or pinch-running capacities. Never has he played an inning at first base.

But . . .

Matt Adams’ season ended with a quad tear. Mark Reynolds is getting the playing time at first. He’s also not doing the one thing Mark Reynolds tends to do well, and that’s slug.

Could this be a move to maximize the playing time of Holliday, Jon Jay, Jason Heyward, Peter Bourjos, and Randal Grichuk while keeping Holliday in the lineup as well? Or is he just, you know, stretching his legs? Over at Viva El Birdos recently, Ben Humphrey assessed whether or not it was worth risking shifting Holliday and his presumably bad defense over to first for this kind of tradeoff.

Worth watching.

Hinch, Luhnow, will be eligible in 2021 even if there are no games in 2020

A.J. Hinch (left) and Jeff Luhnow (right)
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You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.

That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.

It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.