Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Behold, A Pale Horse!

Apparently another Marlins player has tested positive for coronavirus, bringing their total infections to 16 players and two coaches. A friend of mine is convinced these are the end times, and the coronavirus is one of the signs. I'm not so sure that I agree with him but, if these are truly the end times, I expect when the four horsemen of the apocalypse ride in, the one representing pestilence will be wearing a Marlins cap.

The Marlins have been stuck in Philadelphia since the beginning of this story. That just seems like adding insult to injury to me, having so many players infected and being trapped in Philly. I've had nightmares that were less frightening than that scenario.

At least there's good news for the Phillies:
Hopefully the tests keep coming back negative and the Phillies can resume their schedule and escape the city - at least when there are road games on the schedule.

At some point I'd assume that the Marlins players are going to be allowed to leave and return home. MLB and the Marlins are still supposedly investigating the cause of the outbreak. There have been some reports that "at least one player" went out in Atlanta while the Marlins were playing exhibition games against the Braves before the season started.

If the Phillies keep testing negative then MLB has dodged a bullet on this one. If, on the other hand, multiple Phillies start testing positive, MLB has some interesting choices. The Marlins weren't expected to compete for a playoff spot, but the Phillies were expected to be in it. If, through no fault of their own, the Phillies were to lose multiple players, would they really be penalized by playing games with a depleted roster?


I watched David Peterson's start yesterday live and then watched it again on DVR. He really impressed me. He didn't act like a rookie making his first major league start, and he didn't look like one, either. He showed a lot of polish, and his delivery was as smooth as I've seen out of a young pitcher. His stuff was solid, if not overwhelming, and he mixed it up well.

It will interesting to see how he does going forward. Other teams will have tape of him now and an idea of what to expect. They'll make adjustments to him, and he'll need to make them back. He has a nice, calm personality that will serve him well. One thing I always like to see is how a kid like that reacts when he doesn't have his good stuff and he's getting hit around. Not that I'd like to see that any time soon, of course.

One moment of curiosity for me came in the first inning, when Peterson struck out J.D. Martinez with a 88 mph pitch high and inside that was described as a changeup, but looked an awful lot like a cutter to me. It was strange placement for a changeup, and had a lot of break. A cutter would probably be a useful pitch for him to develop at some point. A lot of left-handers have used that pitch to good effect in order to get in on right handed hitters and offset some of their platoon advantage.

Peterson seems likely to stay in the rotation until Stroman returns, whenever that may be. Then the Mets would actually have some depth in starting pitching again, just like they were supposed to at the beginning of spring training about a million years ago.


Sad news about Jose Reyes. I remember when he first came to town as a 20-year-old in 2003, when there was almost no reason to care about that Mets team. All on his own he brought the excitement to a 66-win disaster of a club.

His second time around with the Mets ended poorly, but it still felt kind of right for him to finish his career here in New York. I just wish he could have had the chance to leave baseball on his own terms, rather than "retiring" two years after anyone came calling for his services.


My friend Greg Prince at Faith and Fear in Flushing has a great post up about Daryl Strawberry in the A Met for All Seasons series that he and Jason Fry have been doing this year. All of the posts in that series have been excellent, but this one was just a terrific piece. It's uncanny to me how well Greg evoked the feelings of Strawberry's arrival on the scene in '83. I lived through that time, and this really brought it all back for me. For a few moments, the years fell away and I was 24 again. My knees even stopped hurting for a minute. Then, sadly, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and that illusion was quickly shattered. Go figure...

Anyway, if you haven't had the chance to check it out yet, please do yourself the great favor of doing so. If you're a long-time fan like me it will bring back some great memories. If 1983 was before your time, it will allow you to feel as if you were there as a witness to one of the most consequential debuts in New York Mets history, and help you to understand some of the unrealistic expectations Strawberry lived with.

Okay, that's it for me for now. My meds aren't liking me too much, and I'm going to exit before I do something I regret, like misspelling Rusty Staub's last name a whole bunch of times. It's been known to happen. Please stay safe, be well and take care. I'll be back tomorrow.

 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

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