The Mets offense hasn’t need much help in recent days, but Michael Cuddyer is making progress from his left knee injury, as the team announced this afternoon that he will begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with High-A St. Lucie.
Cuddyer has been sidelined since July 21 due to a bone bruise behind his knee. He was originally hoping to return to the Mets on Saturday, but Adam Rubin of ESPN New York now hears that he’s unlikely to be activated until Monday’s game against the Rockies.
The Mets surrendered a first-round pick to sign Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million contract over the winter, but he’s batting just .250/.303/.380 with eight home runs and 30 RBI over 82 games this season. There was much hemming and hawing prior to him finally being placed on the disabled list, but it was clear he wasn’t doing the team much good by staying on the active roster. Either Michael Conforto or Eric Campbell will be sent out when Cuddyer is deemed ready, though the 36-year-old will likely have to take on a part-time role after the recent addition of Yoenis Cespedes.
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.