Is it just a matter of time before Major League Baseball makes a decision to postpone the rest of the Grapefruit League schedule (or at least keep playing in empty parks?) and then potentially the start of the regular season?
In Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell’s article below, he makes a strong argument why that’s probably the right thing to do. Go read your links ... and wash your hands:
Baseball must act: Cancel spring training games or play without fans - (WaPost)
"As Washington Nationals Manager Dave Martinez approached, he said: “No hand shaking. This is the new thing with our players. Put out your foot.” We bumped toes, the lowest possible low-five."
As events unfold in rapid fire, MLB has decision to make - (MASN)
"This much certainly is safe to say: Nobody has any way of knowing what the situation is going to be two days from now, let alone two weeks from now when 30 clubs are supposed to open the 2020 season."
Multiple Major League Baseball teams have started pulling scouts off the road and sending them home because of coronavirus concerns, sources tell ESPN. Others have simply canceled travel. Officials expect most, if not all, teams to take similar action within a matter of days.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2020
Nationals say no decision yet on March 24 home exhibition game after DC's coronavirus recommendations - (NBC Sports Washington)
"As different recommendations and decisions filter out amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Washington Nationals are watching with a keen eye."
Nationals postpone homecoming gala amid coronavirus outbreak - (WaPost)
"The Nationals on Wednesday announced that the team’s annual fundraising gala scheduled for later this month has been postponed in response to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak."
Strasburg slows down, ends up dominating Astros - (MASN)
"It might sound counterintuitive to someone who can throw a baseball as hard and as precise as he does, but Stephen Strasburg knows he’s better when he throws with 90 percent effort, not 100 percent."
Near-perfect Stras: 'It's starting to come together' - (MLB.com)
"Twelve up, 12 down. That’s how Stephen Strasburg began his second outing of the spring."
The last time it was #StPatricksDay, World Series champion Patrick Corbin did this...— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 12, 2020
Corbin P#SpringTraining // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/IG3oIRCtrR
Will Harris Updates:
Notes: Harris closing in on debut; Eaton returns - (MLB.com)
"Will Harris is getting closer. The veteran reliever is working toward his Spring Training debut with Opening Day two weeks away."
Harris confident he'll be ready for opener (Nats win 6-2) - (MASN)
"[Will] Harris, the club’s key bullpen acquisition over the winter, threw another bullpen session this morning and said he’s progressing as he wants from the abdominal strain that first cropped up earlier in camp."
Nationals reliever Will Harris is confident he’ll be ready for Opening Day - (WaPost)
"The Washington Nationals’ medical staff looked on from behind a fence. Harris was tracked by a camera, propped on the legs of a tripod, ready to slow and split his delivery into a bunch of tiny frames."
Other Nats Stories:
What about the Nationals’ second tier of relievers? - (NBC Sports Washington)
"First, Wander Suero. Second, Tanner Rainey. Third, Roenis Elías. If the Nationals’ bullpen is going to be better this season -- low bar -- these three will need to be better also."
Joe Ross, Austin Voth, Erick Fedde vying for fifth starter spot for Nationals - (Washington Times)
"The trio of right-handers has known each other for years by now. They're pals. Their lockers are all in a row at spring training -- Ross, then Voth, then Fedde. And their futures in Washington are connected, too."
Dave Martinez offered some clarity on the catching plan for this season: He ballparked Yan Gomes playing 4-5 days a week, with Kurt Suzuki regularly catching Max Scherzer and Aníbal Sánchez.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) March 11, 2020
14 NL East Pitchers Looking For Bounce-Back Years - (MLB Trade Rumors)
"[Sean] Doolittle was incredibly dominant for the Nationals two years ago, and though he helped the team to a World Series last fall, his regular season wasn’t as productive."
NL EAST UPDATES:
Sources: Phillies reliever Seranthony Dominguez suffers setback in recovery from elbow injury - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Losing hard-throwing reliever Seranthony Dominguez was a huge blow to the Phillies last season and now there is fear his absence will extend into the new season, which begins in just 15 days."
How a series of right times, right places led Steven Negron to Pete Alonso and the Mets - (Newsday)
"The story starts about a decade ago in Tampa. Negron, two years ahead, and Alonso played at rival high schools and were occasional teammates on the summer/travel ball circuit."
Bullpen biggest missing puzzle piece for Marlins - (MLB.com)
“'It’s a pretty wide-open area for us right now,' manager Don Mattingly said. 'There’s a few guys there that we feel comfortable with. But there’s another whole group where there are some spots there.'"
Notes: Pache among cuts; Fried shows poise - (MLB.com)
"Top prospect Cristian Pache was among the spring roster cuts the Braves made before claiming a 3-2 win over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon at Hammond Stadium."