Training facilities and fields are shut down—and the collective baseball community has been forced to train unlike ever before.
The expansion of stay-at-home orders across the nation means less accessibility for players to get their work in. 2018 Rockies draftee Kyle Datres faces the issue, and like others, he just knows that a “mini-camp of some kind” will presumably set forth once restrictions are lifted. Gyms have closed their doors to clients. Baseball facilities can't welcome hitters into cages like before. A cold-weather town doesn’t even welcome people playing catch outside.
“There’s a lot of guys who don’t have the chance to work out back home,” says Datres. It calls for players to make the most of the often limited equipment they do have. Players are adapting available resources for strength training. Hitters are finding a way to take swings, hitting into nets, tarps, canvas, whatever can withstand the impact. Pitchers are even throwing flat-ground bullpens in the middle of the street.
Datres had back surgery last year, which led to a “slow start last April.” He has good reason to attack the 2020 schedule with ample excitement being healthy; an itch to hit without quarantine restriction is sure to push his excitement even further.
Todd Helton’s 17 and Larry Walker’s 33 get recognition by The Athletic, as does the high-digit number of a current reliever.
Wade Davis has worn 71 since 2017, flipping his previous digits after wearing 17 for the Royals. He made the All Star Game in 2015, 2016 and 2017, twice with 17 on his back and once with 71. He was the NL saves leader in 2018 while wearing 71.
The Sporting News wrote a similar jersey number piece in 2016. They said Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean was the best wearing 17, giving Helton and Lance Berkman honorable mention. They gave Hall inductee Eddie Murray number 33, with Walker and Luis Tiant as honorees. They gave Elmer Dessens number 71—he pitched for nine teams and only wore 71 for one of them.
The Sporting News gave nobody honorable mention for 71, but their article is also four years old. Milwaukee left-hander Josh Hader wears 71, and he’s won the NL Reliever of the Year twice in his three-year career.
Purple Row’s Ben Kouchnerkavich gave us the simulated broadcast of David Price vs. Chi Chi Gonzalez on Monday night, with an authentic west coast start time of 8:10 p.m. Mountain. Colorado prevailed 4-3 over the Dodgers, thanks to four shutout frames by the bullpen.
Sim David Price even got to hit, his first regular season outing in an sim NL uniform.
We are days away from the sim home opener and what would have been Opening Day at Coors Field. We’ve got a little time to muster up our best quarantine impression of a Lower Downtown party.
It’s hard being quarantined, feeling isolated. It’s also hard to be as bi-solated and tri-solated as Aroldis Chapman.
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FanGraphs has been forced to cut the pay of all their full-time staff, and forced to lay off most of their contributors, due to COVID-19. FanGraphs creator David Appelman says they “rely on the revenue generated by site traffic,” so if you have a minute, click through their articles, learn about some fascinating stats they publish, or even become a member on their site. It can be more beneficial to them now than ever before.