As I wrote yesterday the events of the day are far larger than the Pittsburgh Pirates or Sports in general, but this is a Pirates site, and for this installment of Friday Focus, we’re going to spend some time talking about the questions that are now on the table for the Buccos alone rather than the endless possibilities the league as a whole will encounter.
First up is Derek Holland, specifically what will his role be now that the beginning of the season will be delayed. This should provide ample time for Steven Brault to recover as he is already making progress. So, is Holland valuable if he is a bullpen arm? Does that even make sense? Bad timing for everyone of course, but nobody more so than the Dutch Oven perhaps. On the other hand, he’s arguably outperformed some more established members of the Pirates rotation.
Next, if there were talks ongoing for extensions and or trades, do they come to a full stop or could there still be news on those fronts as we head into the hiatus? I had a lot of questions here already, but I’m inclined to believe player movement, a.k.a. trades won’t happen, at least not prior to an announced return date. Extensions could very well be accomplished but with uncertainty about how much money each team is going to lose in this whole deal, these too could be out of commission.
What happens to the Super 2 clock? Say baseball starts up in May, does Ke’Bryan Hayes now have to wait until July or August? Can of worms here for sure and I have no idea how they’ll handle it.
How do you keep pitchers stretched out or for that matter, continue the process of stretching them out? Joe Musgrove spoke to this a bit during the broadcast yesterday a bit when interviewing with Robbie over at ATT Sportsnet. To paraphrase, he doesn’t really know either, but he’ll just keep working out.
The hitters may actually be more of a concern, it typically takes two weeks for the bats to catch up to the arms as it is, now they’ll have to start that process again.
Baseball is a long season and I’m sure all options are on the table, so I’d imagine playing a shortened season is at least in consideration. If you think of all the shucking and jiving that shaving say 30 games would cause it starts to become pretty clear how long this could go to actually still have a season at all. Couple this with the CBA being up and baseball could be gone for quite some time.
We have a professional sports entity here that is older than some countries, it’s going to survive, what it looks like when it returns remains to be seen. Blessings baseball fans, this too shall pass.