Spring training is underway. Games are on TV, I know this because in my office today I loudly declared “oh hey, there’s Dave Dombrowski!” and my non-baseball fan co-worker said, “oh, is that a player?” and I questioned every life decision I’d ever made up to that point.
We’re beginning to see what changes are happening with the addition of the pitch clock and the banned shift, and Rob Manfred must be thrilled, because games are getting shorter and batting averages are going up, which according to him is how baseball gets more exciting and gains new fans.
We’ve still got a ways to go before we see how this actually shapes up over the season, but it has certainly been interesting to watch.
Now, on to today’s links!
- Dan Szymborski looks at the early pre-season injuries that have already hindered playoff-contending teams.
- The MLB dot com team try to figure out who will lead in saves for the 2023 season.
- Stephanie Apstein shares a feature on the Padres and how they don’t care if you call them a small market team.
- Eno Sarris has ten sleeper pitchers who could benefit teams both real and fantasy. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- How making the bed changed Corbin Burnes into an ace. Story by Jeff Passan.
- Leo Morgenstern explains why things aren’t looking too promising for Yuli Gurriel.
- Bryan Hoch brings us the fastest strikeout in spring training.
- Jim Bowden makes ten bold predictions for the coming season. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Jimmy Traina thinks fans should be grateful for the pitch clock.
- It’s only March 3 but we already have our first animal encounter of the year.
- Jason Beck looks at the surprising Tigers prospect who is poised for a 2023 callup.
- Jay Jaffe breaks down the weakest positions on the best teams.
- Apparently a PitchCom device in the Rays/Twins game was loud enough for every batter to hear the calls, and yet they still struck out. (AP)
- Andy Nesbitt has the biggest “too much info” story of the year as Kiké Hernández admits he did indeed soil himself in the 2020 playoffs.
- Jesse Sanchez offers the touching personal story of how George Springer changed his family’s life.
- Will Leitch and Mike Petriello do their best to determine which WBC team is the best.
- ESPN takes a look at how the new pitch clock and banned shift are impacting batters this spring.
- Noah Woodward looks in depth at a pickoff move and a high-speed Max Scherzer strikeout.
- Baby Blues.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.