John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Giants third baseman Evan Longoria has a fractured fifth metacarpal. He is certainly headed to the disabled list. Though the Giants haven’t yet announced a timetable, it’s the same injury suffered by Madison Bumgarner in spring training on March 23. Bumgarner didn’t make his season debut until June 5, so we can roughly estimate that Longoria will be out for about two and a half months.
Longoria, 32, suffered the injury leading off the top of the fourth inning of Thursday afternoon’s game (an eventual 6-3, 16-inning win) against the Marlins. He ran the bases but was replaced at third base by Alen Hanson in the bottom half of the fourth. Longoria hits the shelf batting .246/.278/.434 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI in 270 plate appearances.
Shea suggests that Brandon Belt could return from the disabled list earlier than expected, perhaps tomorrow even. Pablo Sandoval may be called on to handle third base while Longoria is out. Hanson could also see his playing time increased.
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.