The Indians and Blue Jays have officially announced their starters for Game 1 of the ALCS in Cleveland, which starts on Friday at 8:00 PM EDT. The Indians will send out Corey Kluber while the Blue Jays will counter with Marco Estrada.
The Indians, in fact, announced their starters for the first four games: Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin, and Mike Clevinger. The Indians’ Twitter account notes that Clevinger’s Game 4 start will hinge on whether or not he’s been used out of the bullpen in the first three games.
For the Jays, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that Aaron Sanchez is likely to start Game 4, but the club hasn’t finalized that yet.
Kluber pitched seven shutout innings in his first career postseason start last Friday, holding the Red Sox to three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in 104 pitches in Game 2 of the ALDS.
Estrada pitched into the ninth inning against the Rangers in Game 1 of the ALDS, yielding a lone run on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts on 98 pitches.
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.