Astros first baseman Chris Carter could be looking at an extended absence after he was forced to exit last night’s game against the Rangers due to a sprained right ankle.
Carter suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly after jumping to catch a high throw from second baseman Jose Altuve. Chandler Rome of MLB.com reports that no X-rays were taken, but Astros manager A.J. Hinch is prepared for the possibility that he’ll require a stint on the disabled list.
“I’m not going to have him out there hobbling around so I pulled him off,” Hinch said. “We’ll re-evaluate him overnight, see how he comes back. It’s possible that he avoids the DL, it’s also very possible he wakes up [Saturday] and we have to talk about what’s next for the next couple of weeks.”
Carter has 15 home runs through 86 games this season, but he’s batting just .185 with a .680 OPS and leads the majors with 115 strikeouts. Jonathan Singleton would likely see increased playing time at first base if Carter goes on the disabled list, but his minor league success has yet to translate against major league pitching.
Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.
In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.
Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.
Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.