Luis Severino shut down with shoulder injury
The Yankees were supposed to have their ace, Luis Severino, in action on Tuesday, but the righty was shut down shortly before the game. Apparently, he wasn’t feeling quite right during his warm ups and the training staff decided to take him for some tests. The good news for New York is that they didn’t find anything overly serious that is expected to keep him out long-term. Instead, they found some inflammation in his shoulder and have shut him down for a couple of weeks. As a result, he’s highly unlikely to be ready for Opening Day. All things considered, it could be worse, but it’s still never good to hear about shoulder injuries for the best pitcher in your rotation. Severino struggled in the second half last year, but we all know how good he can be. With the hardest fastball among starters in the game, an absurd slider and a good changeup, he can be downright unhittable when he’s on. You never root for injuries, but this is certainly going to have a negative effect on the Yankees, which in turn helps the Red Sox. Still, you want to beat them at full strength, not with them riddled with injury.
Bryce Harper wants Mike Trout
Bryce Harper signed a 13-year contract with the Phillies with no opt outs, so he’s obviously invested in the long-term success of the franchise. Even before Harper got there speculation had been abound about Mike Trout, perhaps the best player any of us have ever seen, would head to the Phillies in free agency in a couple of years. Trout is from the Philadelphia area originally. With Harper, the calls have even gotten louder as the two are close. Harper said that out loud on Tuesday, telling the hosts of a Philly radio station they’re crazy if they don’t think he’ll be calling Trout in 2020. The Angels, for their part, are not thrilled about this. You don’t see this kind of recruiting too much in baseball, but given how much it works for the NBA, perhaps it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to see stars flirting with each other a little more.
Mets hire Jessica Mendoza
The Mets made big headlines on Tuesday when they hired ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza to an advisory role in the front office. She will also stay on with her role in the announcer’s booth. This obviously elicited strong reactions from the internet, because anything involving Mendoza always does. There are a lot of conflicting opinions about her work in the booth, most of which are over the top in this writer’s opinion. She is fine, and probably even better than most of the national color commentators, not that it’s an overly high bar. Still, if the Red Sox aren’t playing I usually have the game on mute with a podcast or music playing, which is what I do for 95 percent of broadcasts anyway. Whatever you think about her game-calling, though, you can’t deny her knowledge of the game. Mendoza is an incredibly accomplished softball player and has demonstrated intense knowledge on the art of hitting. There are some who complain about her lack of experience with baseball, which of course is silly given how much of any front office is made up of men who have never played baseball. Mendoza has a lot more tangible on-field experience than any of them.
MLB to expand active roster size to 26 in 2020, per report
The Associated Press is reporting that MLB and the Players Union has agreed to expand the active roster size to 26 players beginning in 2020 in exchange for the players committing to discussions regarding other issues around the game later this month. As part of the agreement, September roster sizes will also be cut down to 28 from 40. This seems like a good move overall, though there are ways this could certainly result in more dead time in a game. Given the way the sport is moving, it’s not crazy to think that extra roster spot will be given to an extra reliever, which could result in more pitching changes. Of course, the further discussions could include rules against one-batter relief appearances. The September rule change is good, though, as it never made a ton of sense for there to be 40-man rosters for the final month of the season. It was a good chance for young players to get a taste of the majors, but more than anything it allowed teams to use a ton of pitchers every day and gave unfair advantages to contenders who were fortunate enough to have a division full of non-contenders.