As we begin the first proper week in our most current break from baseball, there are still baseball-related things to read, watch, and discuss to help kill the time before we see the real thing again. Let’s get into what’s out there.
On the heels of a minor league player for the New York Yankees testing positive for the coronavirus, Major League Baseball issued new guidance on Sunday morning instructing clubs to avoid any activities that would involve breaking current social distancing protocols. This new bit of instruction is likely to result in players, who had planned on staying at the spring training facilities to ride this out, heading home. So far, many Tigers players have stayed put to take part in informal workouts, but this news from the league makes that difficult to do.
“To the extent activities are permitted in the future, those activities must be conducted pursuant to protocols that we will issue that are designed to slow the transmission of the virus — for example, limiting the lumber of coaches and club staff who may work with the players at any one time, staggering the time period that players are in the same area of the facility, and implementing hygiene and social distancing policies.”
The league is expected to update teams in a conference call on Monday afternoon.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News sat down for a conversation with prospect du jour Riley Greene. What we learn about the 19 year old is that he has the culinary tastes one would expect from a man his age. His go-to dining spots appear to be a Chinese restaurant in a mall foodcourt and Olive Garden. We also learn that he drives a large truck that he uses to haul his fishing boat.
Greene will likely start the season at Single-A West Michigan, and probably won’t sniff the majors until 2022, but he is doing what he can to absorb as much about the game as he can in hopes to speed that process. He says he would “like to be perfect” although he knows that’s not possible.
Henning’s profile is a good look at the background and mindset of Greene, and why it’s easy to understand why perfection is something he strives for.
The best prospect you’ve never seen
With the recent state of the major league club, it has become more commonplace for Tigers fans to know more about the minor league system and what hope possibly lies ahead. Most of us know the likes of Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Riley Greene. One name you might not be familiar with is Roberto Campos. According to Anthony Fenech of The Detroit Free Press, Campos is the best prospect you don’t know about.
The 16-year-old Campos was signed by the Director of the Tigers D.R. academy, Oliver Arias, after a workout where Arias, who had come to see other kids play, left most impressed by Campos.
More specifically, Arias was floored by Campos’ bat. At 6’2 and 200 pounds, Campos already has natural power and plenty of room to develop more. If you let yourself get excited by comparisons, well, I hope you’re sitting down.
Said Garcia, the Tigers’ Latin American director, who is largely responsible for the Marlins signing Miguel Cabrera in 1999: “I feel lucky enough to be able to see Miguel Cabrera when he was 15, when he was 16 years old, and Roberto Campos, to me, is the closest thing that I ever have seen to me like Cabrera when he was that age.”
Just a reminder; the young man is barely legally able to operate a motor vehicle, but he seems to have the attitude and the make-up of a player who could some day be a big piece of a future Tigers lineup.
Trevor Bauer has a good idea?
With no baseball to play, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer had an idea: organize a sandlot wiffle ball game. Bauer put together the event as a way to raise money for MLB gameday staff who will be cash strapped during this break from baseball. You can wee pictures from the event and find out where to watch in its entirety at @Watch_Momentum on Twitter. It looked like a pretty good time.
Baseball is free
With the suspension of Major League Baseball for the foreseeable future, PBS has made the Ken Burns documentary Baseball free to stream. That should help you kill some time.
Around the horn
Nationals release Hunter Strickland. Mackenzie Gore is a power pitcher who doesn’t hunt punchouts. The top 25 baseball movies ever. The Philadelphia Phillies and Venezuelan outfield prospect Yhoswar Garcia have come to terms on a contract.