Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Major League Baseball appears to have weathered its first bout with the coronavirus pandemic, knock on wood. Things looked dire a couple days ago, with two teams in two different geographic regions dealing with outbreaks, but Tuesday brought best-case news all around.
The Miami Marlins were hit hard with 18 cases among players, and the St. Louis Cardinals had seven, and that’s not including non-player personnel. Fortunately, the Marlins have reported no new cases since then and are “good to go,” per insider Jon Heyman. The Cardinals also have no new cases, and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that they’ve been cleared to travel and return to the field while they wait for one more round of tests to come back.
The final step is for these teams to resume their schedules and begin playing games again, and for the Marlins that’s already a reality. They played Tuesday against the Orioles, in something that technically counted as an MLB game, and they even won in a 4-0 shutout despite placing 13 players on the injured list.
The Cardinals aren’t quite there yet, but they could be back in action by Friday. They put several names on the IL as well, including a few stars.
MLB will never be fully out of the woods as long as this pandemic remains present in the U.S., but these turns of events couldn’t be more encouraging. Instead of the active problem spreading to more teams and potentially causing a second shutdown of the season, it was contained and isolated, and now the affected teams are able to get back on the field without missing a dealbreaking amount of time. It’s not perfect to have clubs pause for a full week-plus in quarantine, but it’s the best we can hope for given the circumstances.
Maybe this 2020 season can make it after all. Knock on wood again.
- Kawahara: A’s Jake Diekman turns to Twitter for help with slider ($)
- Slusser: Jesús Luzardo throws 5 scoreless innings, A’s win on Stephen Piscotty slam ($)
- Hickey: With Weems on Injured List, Kaprielian Finally Getting his Major League Shot with Athletics
- Coffey: A’s Jesús Luzardo to make his first big-league start as parents watch from afar ($$$)
- Game #11: Pie-scotty! Stephen Piscotty walk-off grand slam caps 5-1 win in Jesus Luzardo’s first MLB start
- Hall: Sean Manaea stole the show Monday with homemade signs to cheer teammates
- Series Preview #4: Rangers bring battle of starting rotations
- Buy your Jesús Is My Homeboy T-shirt today!
James Kaprielian call-up
- Gallegos: ‘I’m here now’: Kaprielian called up by A’s
- Kawahara: A’s place Jordan Weems on IL, call up pitching prospect James Kaprielian ($)
- Hall: A’s call up pitching prospect James Kaprielian
- Woo (June 2019): Ports’ Kaprielian logs another hitless start
- Boor (May 2015): Draft prospect Kaprielian pitching in mother’s memory
The staff at the A’s San Jose sure broke the news to Kaprielian by calling him in and showing the clip from The Natural with the big-league callup, then everyone stood up and applauded him. Nice touch.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2020
MLB News, & Interest
- Bollinger: Dad strength! Trout HRs in first AB back
- Bollinger: Pujols hits No. 659, one shy of Mays
- Stephen: Angels still have hopes for Shohei Ohtani as a 2-way player
- Adams: Mariners Place Kendall Graveman On Injured List
- Gurnick: Dustin May breaks Internet, baffles Padres
- Today in Baseball History
Yesterday’s Game Highlights
Tuesday: Win! With their second walk-off grand slam already this year!
Oh, and Jesus Luzardo made his first MLB start, with five scoreless innings.
Best of A’s Twitter
Last team to do it was the 2018 Cubs
The A's had their second walk-off grand slam of the season tonight, which marks the 17th time in Major League history a team has two walk-off grand slams in the same season (first time by A's).— Mike Selleck (@MikeSelleck) August 5, 2020
Scout who's watching A's game tonight says there's no doubt Luzardo is a No. 1 or 2 starter in the league, and another tells me health and durability is his only concern, but, "He's good." Yeah, you could say that with five scoreless in his first ML start.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 5, 2020
The ones who get great this fast usually end up being superstars ... if healthy
Jesús Luzardo will become the youngest pitcher (22 years, 309 days) to start a game for the A’s since Brett Anderson (22 years, 243 days) in 2010.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) August 4, 2020
Too bad a regular cutout was already ordered for my little Sonny Greyhound!
The A's now have a cardboard cutout option for pets - and it supports ARF and East Bay SPCA! Lots of folks have already put furry friends on cutouts, but if you'd considered doing so and haven't yet, now's the time to benefit two fine animal charities. https://t.co/dPUzyGqBLA— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2020
And here’s what the very good pets look like
Oh, you thought we weren't going to post some of your adorable pets?! @TonyLaRussa and the gang have taken their seats in the Coliseum Pet Cutouts area. Thank you for supporting @ARFtweets and the @EastBaySPCA.https://t.co/eWtfAE3q8z pic.twitter.com/GbBBStPcT5— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 4, 2020
Speaking of animals, I’d vote to keep the Snappers. That’s one of my favorite names and hat logos in all of sports.
Clutch play by the camera crew
Director changed shots just in time pic.twitter.com/OhshVO02b9— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) August 5, 2020
Best of MLB Twitter
Big news: Rosters will remain at 28 all year. Sensible move for health reasons, and also a fun one that’s easy to like.
Union telling players that roster size will reduce to from 30 and 28 on Thursday and remain at that level for the rest of the season and postseason, source tells The Athletic. Taxi squad will be expanded from three players to five players for remainder of the season.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 4, 2020
Gut punch for the Astros
MLB Source: Initial diagnosis for #Astros closer Roberto Osuna is that he needs to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. However, Osuna is getting a second opinion. If the initial diagnosis is accurate it would be huge loss for the Astros.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 4, 2020
Angels receive better pitching news
Apparently Julio Teheran is making his #Angels debut to start tomorrow. The Angels didn't announce it officially, but Joe Maddon said it on the radio pregame show.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 5, 2020
Teheran missed the start of summer camp after having COVID-19.
Jazz is playing the games you can’t see