Outfielder Jay Bruce has only been a Phillie for three days, coming over from the Mariners over the weekend, but his tenure with his new team has started off on the right foot. After entering Monday’s game when Andrew McCutchen suffered a season-ending knee injury, Bruce went 1-for-3 with a single, with the single coming off of lefty reliever Robbie Erlin.
On Tuesday, Bruce doubled and scored in the second inning. He then belted a go-ahead two-run home run in the fourth, and tacked on a grand slam in the fifth as the Phillies eventually won 9-6. Bruce kept it going on Wednesday, doubling in the second inning and swatting a solo homer in the fourth. THe Phillies would go on to win 7-5. Altogether, Bruce has come to the plate 11 times with the Phillies, racking up six hits of which two are doubles and three are homers.
The Phillies badly needed Bruce to produce. Along with McCutchen, the club is currently without injured outfielders Roman Quinn and Dylan Cozens, and Odúbel Herrera remains on administrative leave due to a domestic violence incident. The club was so short on outfield depth that it promoted Adam Haseley after just six games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Haseley drove in the eventual game-winning run with a double on Wednesday afternoon.
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.