The South Bend Cubs would like you to know that in addition to hosting the Midwest League All-Star Game on June 18, the game will be televised in Chicago on WCIU-TV and in South Bend on WMYS, My Michiana. It’s the first time the Midwest League All-Star Game will be televised outside of the home market of the host team.
Maybe Brailyn Marquez will start that game.
Good morning. It’s kind of nice I don’t have any big scandal or death to report on today. One minor PED suspension, that’s it.
- Ben Lindbergh argues that for the first time in a while, the National League is far more interesting than the American League. That’s something that most of us have believed in for a while. But we’re biased.
- Dayn Perry looks at the most intriguing roster battle for each MLB team in Spring Training.
- Matt Kelly has nine feats to root for in 2019.
- In the speculative world, David Schoenfield tries to find homes for unsigned free agent pitchers Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel.
- And more speculative fiction, Dan Szymborski has seven trade ideas that could still happen during Spring Training.
- For most players, what they do in Spring Training really doesn’t matter at all. But Buster Olney has some players who really are under pressure to perform this spring. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Zach Kram argues that despite losing Bryce Harper, the Nationals could be better in 2019 than they were last year.
- Tim Brown is a pretty great writer who happens to write a lot about baseball. He’s got a couple of profiles of players from Spring Training today. The first is about Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. and how he knows how good he is. Not in an arrogant way, but just in a matter-of-fact way.
- And Brown also writes about Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and how he wonders how the American League Championship Series might have gone differently if one line drive he struck had dropped in for a hit.
- And Bregman has also admitted that he’s “disappointed” in his salary for 2019. The Astros renewed him for $640,000, which is more than the Astros had to pay him but clearly a lot less than what he’s worth.
- The Angels renewed DH Shohei Ohtani (he won’t pitch in 2019) for $650,000. Again, more than required and a lot more than what other teams are doing with their pre-arbitration eligible players. But less than what he’s actually worth.
- Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager missed almost all of last season with Tommy John surgery. Now his brother, Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, will miss at least the month of April after hand surgery.
- David Laurila speaks with Rockies first baseman (and former Cub) Daniel Murphy about hitting and all the new stats and information surrounding it.
- Eno Sarris talks with Reds first baseman Joey Votto about his philosophy of hitting and how he interprets the statistics and advanced information. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Tom Verducci explains how Astros pitcher Justin Verlander has used advanced metrics and an improved changeup to have a late-career renaissance.
- The move towards turning Reds pitcher Michael Lorenzen into a two-way player took another step forward as he pitched and then played center field in consecutive innings on Monday.
- The Brewers announced that Mike Moustakas will be their Opening Day second baseman.
- The Padres have signed reliever Sammy Solis to a minor-league deal.
- Apparently Rangers fans have been complaining that their new stadium looks too much like the Astros’ Minute Maid Park. Evan Grant wants you to know that the new Globe Life Field will not look very much like Minute Maid Park.
- Bill Shaikin looks at the Athletics plans to develop the current site of the Coliseum into a neighborhood with over 6000 affordable homes. Although I guess the word “affordable” has to always be put in quotation marks when we’re talking about the Bay Area. But that’s mainly because so many people want to live there.
- Former football player Tim Tebow has been reassigned to minor league camp by the Mets.
- Might Tebow not be the only former football player chasing their major league dream? Speaking of the other football, AS Monaco striker Radamel Falcao has said that when his soccer career is over, he’d like to play baseball. The Colombian national team member grew up in baseball-mad Venezuela when his father played professional soccer there. So he does know the sport. On the other hand, he’s already 33 and while he’s one of the most talented soccer players on the planet, he’s never really been able to stay healthy for any long stretch of time in his career. It seems pretty unlikely.
- One fist, two fish. Red fish, Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto sure has a lot of fish on his kitchen floor.
- Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera pulled off the hidden-ball trick in a Spring Training game.
- Last season, reliever Joe Kelly won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox. While being interviews after the Series, his son kept saying “Mookie Betts” into the microphone. Now Kelly is with the opposing Dodgers and his son was asked what his favorite baseball team is now. His answer? “Mookie Betts.” I’m pretty sure Mookie Betts is a better team than the Orioles, at least.
- And finally, while the Reds may be trying to turn Michael Lorenzen into a two-way player, their second baseman Scooter Gennett is also well on is way to being a two-way player. Not only can he play second base, but he can help out the grounds crew when necessary, like he did on Monday when he helped roll out the tarp.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.