The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we’re running here at MLBDD that rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be the shared? Hit us up at @mlbdailydish on Twitter or @MLBDailyDish on Instagram.
- Indians starters Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger were sent home and placed on the restricted list after it was discovered that they violated league safety protocols and went out in Chicago. On Tuesday, Plesac and Clevinger released apologies that could be viewed by some as less than sincere, and teammates Francisco Lindor and Adam Plutko spoke on the pitchers’ decisions, with Plutko being the most critical of his rotation mates, saying that the starters “hurt us bad,” “lied to us,” and “sat here in front of (the media) and publicly said things that they didn’t follow through on.”
- Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron was suspended 20 games after instigating a brawl with the Athletics on Sunday. Seems like an appropriate punishment for someone who was blatantly trying to start a fight when social distancing is so important.
- Marcus Stroman’s return this season was already looking pretty sketchy due to a muscle tear in his calf. Given the apparent severity of the injury and the shortened season, the logistics of getting him back on the field were a bit daunting. However, Stroman took the guesswork out of the situation by opting out of the rest of the season and potentially playing his last game with the Mets.
- Madison Bumgarner got himself a five year deal, somehow, from the Diamondbacks this past offseason and the early returns are...well, not great. Bumgarner got shelled in a recent start and saw a big drop-off in the quality of his stuff. After the DBacks medical team got a look at him, they put him on the IL with a strain in his back. For Arizona’s sake, lets hope that is all that is wrong with him.
- The Cards-Pirates series has been cancelled, presumably due to the large number of Cards’ positive COVID-19 test results. Outfielder Lane Thomas is the latest case to be reported. This leaves the Cardinals at a whomping total of five games played all season. It’s unclear when the team will resume playing after missing 13 consecutive games and if it will somehow come into play with the new playoff model.
- The Astros and Athletics had an all-out brawl after Ramón Laureano was hit with a pitch.
- With numerous teams likely needing to play a bunch of doubleheaders in order to complete their 60-game schedules by the end of the regular season, MLB made the wise decision to keep rosters at 28 players for the rest of the season, with taxi squads expanding from three to five players following the cutdown from the 30-man limit that was in place to start the season. Teams previously were set to cut down to 26 players after another two weeks and remain at that limit for the rest of the season.
- Last Monday night was not a good night for Braves fans. Not only did they lose their series finale to the Mets, but in doing so, they also lost young pitching phenom Mike Soroka for the season with a torn Achilles. Soroka was injured after trying to make the turn on the mound to go help cover first and had to be helped off the field afterwards. Just gut-wrenching for a great young pitcher and for a club that already had issues in its rotation.
- The Angels have been dealing with the fallout of Shohei Ohtani being injured again, but in more positive news, they called up one of the top prospects in all of baseball in Jo Adell.
- Yes, we could possibly have more bad news this season, thank you for asking. Shohei Ohtani has undergone an MRI on his pitching arm after expressing discomfort following a recent start against the Astros. The 26-year old has had some control issues since coming back post Tommy John surgery and pitching at Spring Training 2.0. His ERA so far this season is pretty much infinite. Why Joe Maddon had him throw 42 pitches in a single inning a year out from that surgery is also yet to be determined as the pitcher racked up exactly zero outs and should have been pulled eons before he actually was. Fingers crossed the MRI comes back normal.
- Yoenis Cespedes was nowhere to be found last Sunday morning, allowing the Mets to scapegoat him into a negligent and disrespectful player when in reality he’s a man who did not feel the team could and would be able to protect him from COVID-19. He’s opted out for the rest of the season, and honestly, good for him. What a fantastically dramatic exit.
- It’s been a rough year for 2018 All-Star Miles Mikolas. After being sidelined during spring training with a flexor tendon injury, it looked as if the Cardinals right-hander was back to full health when summer camp got underway. But apparently he didn’t fully recover from his injury, and now the flexor tendon will need to be surgically repaired, keeping him out for the entire 2020 season.
- It wasn’t that long ago that Corey Kluber was one of the best pitchers on planet Earth, but unfortunately injuries and Father Time seem to be catching up with him. Now with the Rangers, the team announced that Kluber has a muscle tear in his shoulder and will miss at least four weeks before being evaluated again. The team also announced that if Kluberdoes come back this year, he will most likely be coming out of the bullpen.
- Justin Verlander is not having a great year, but if you’re going to get injured, then he picked the right time to do that. The veteran pitcher will be sidelined with a forearm strain for at least his next few starts, he confirmed on his personal Twitter. His timeline on recovery is unknown, but Verlander per his tweet seemed to be optimistic that this was not a season-ending or hysteria inducing issue. Fingers crossed.
- The big news on the eve of the 2020 season finally getting underway was that Mookie Betts, who was going to be in line to get a huge free agent deal after this season, decided instead to sign a huge 12 year, $365 million contract extension with the Dodgers. The Dodgers are probably feeling a bit better about the trade from this offseason that brought Mookie to LA in the first place now.
- Rob Manfred and MLB’s owners had done a truly bad job of hiding the fact that they were negotiating in bad faith with the players, but at least they weren’t saying it out loud...until now. Few were confused by the fact that while the owners gave out proposals with differing percentages and numbers of games, the owners never appreciably offered to pay for more than about 60 games’ worth of fully prorated salary which is EXACTLY what we ended up with. Unfortunately, Manfred said the quiet part out loud when he said that MLB was never going to play more than 60 games regardless of how the negotiations were going. Not only does that comment diminish the league’s/owners’ chances in the inevitable grievance that players bring, but it also gives the appearance to fans that Manfred and co. dragged the entire sport through the mud over the last few months for nothing.
- In tragic, unsettling news, MLB teams have released hundreds of minor league players,with more players likely to be released in the coming weeks. As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds across the country, billionaires are making the choices to cut menial, insignificant costs in the form of the people who make them money. If you’re looking to help during this difficult times, tweet us at @mlbdailydish while we work with Adopt A Minor Leaguer to help find sponsors for MiLB players struggling.
- MLB and Minor League Baseball are reportedly close to an agreement that would cause 42 minor-league teams to lose their big-league affiliations. While there are perhaps a few positives to be taken from this deal — every club will have the same number of minor-league affiliates, travel will be more efficient, and minor-leaguers will get paid more — it’s extremely rough news for employees and fans in the affected markets and the players whose dreams will be crushed as more than 1,000 jobs are eliminated.