It’s now been two weeks since the Cubs last played a baseball game. Seems longer, doesn’t it?
- Joining the ranks of Tommy John surgery pitchers for this spring along with Chris Sale, Mets righthander Noah Syndergaard will have the procedure done. Anthony DiComo says the Mets hurler will undergo the surgery tomorrow and miss the 2020 season. (If there is one.)
- Jen McCaffrey looks at the history of Tommy John surgery and what that could mean for pitchers like Sale and Syndergaard, both from pitchers who have come back and those who didn’t make it.
- In filings related to a lawsuit filed by Astros season-ticket holders against the team, the Astros claim they did apologize for the sign-stealing scandal. Daniel Kaplan has the details of this weird court case. (The Athletic subscription required)
- If you’re still mad at the Astros, this Tom Verducci piece might calm you down a bit. He advocates for “a better baseball future.”
- On the topic of what service time will be accrued by players during baseball’s absence, Ken Rosenthal spoke to agent Seth Levinson. Settling this will likely be one of the more difficult things owners and players will negotiate. (The Athletic subscription required)
- Service time is the “elephant in the room,” writes Tony Wolfe at Fangraphs.
- Minor league players are among those most hurt by the shutdown. The folks at the Tigers Minor League Report, along with writer Emily Waldon, have begun the Minor League Employment Project. For full information, here’s the link.
- Some thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic, “flattening the curve” and what all this means to baseball’s future from Allison McCague at Baseball Prospectus.
- Back to baseball! Here are some thoughts from three pitchers on how they developed their changeups and splitters, from David Laurila at Fangraphs.
- Drone views of where the Cubs would have been tomorrow to open the season, Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Fun stuff to wrap this edition...
- Brendan Gawlowski picked a random game between two bad teams from 2015 and shows us how you can enjoy it just because it’s baseball.
- Roberto Alomar’s home run off Dennis Eckersley in Game 4 of the 1992 ALCS “changed everything” for the Blue Jays, writes Stephen Brunt of Sportsnet Canada.
- James Hoyt’s career progression to solid reliever with the Indians has been anything but conventional. Zack Meisel tells Hoyt’s story, which he says includes “Jose Canseco, Bill Buckner and sailboats.” (The Athletic subscription required)
- Here’s an excerpt from the new book “Buzz Saw,” the story of the Washington Nationals’ World Series run, by Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post.
- Jon Bois and Alex Rubenstein tell the story of the 1979 Astros, who were perhaps the worst-hitting home run team since the Deadball Era.
- Could Carlos Carrasco’s son follow in his dad’s footsteps? He surely has good-looking pitching form at a very young age!
- David Ortiz has a baseball-playing son, too, D’Angelo... who might be a lot closer to MLB playing age. The younger Ortiz gets hitting tips from Big Papi.
- We are running Sara’s Diary every day about life without baseball. Kyle Newman of the Denver Post found some baseball folks doing the same thing.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.