[D’backs.com] Bumgarner’s impact on D-backs apparent - When they signed Madison Bumgarner this past offseason, the D-backs talked about the impact his presence could have on their younger pitchers. That appears to be playing out this spring. “He brings more of an edge, and this guy has won and he wants to win,” closer Archie Bradley said. “And that’s kind of the message I’m about, so for me it’s another guy in here who wants to win. He doesn’t talk about other stuff — it’s about winning and winning a World Series. Guys want to sit up a little straighter, they want to talk properly, they want to figure out what he does and how he works, stuff like that.” Bumgarner was put in a work group this spring with some of the younger pitchers. It was similar to what happened years ago with the team, when it put the fiery veteran hurler Todd Stottlemyre in the same group as its younger pitchers.
[Arizona Sports] Coronavirus: D-backs weigh in as leagues close locker room access - “I ain’t worried about it. I’ll go in and wash my hands afterwards,” he said. “We had a meeting the other day and they were saying something about how there’s been — I don’t know if I got this right — but like 18,000 deaths because of the flu, and we’re worried about 30 [in the U.S.] from the coronavirus. It’s the same thing, basically. I think the media overplayed it a little bit.” Other leagues around the world have played games in empty stadiums due to coronavirus fears, and a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday said that the NBA is weighing preventative measures, including the possibility of playing games without fans. “I think every player in here thrives off of the cheering, the booing, just the environment, the intensity from the crowd,” Chafin said. “You take that away, it’s going to completely change the feel of the game. It’s going to feel like a backfield game in the spring. But if it comes to that, we’ll adapt and we’ll do the best we can to go out and perform the best we can.
[AZ Central] Arizona Diamondbacks’ lineup taking shape but Torey Lovullo says he’s still juggling - Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta looked over his shoulder at the nameplates overhead. Next to him on one side was Ketel Marte’s locker. Eduardo Escobar’s was on the other. Starling Marte’s was next in line. “This is the top of the lineup,” Peralta said. “I like that.” More than likely, this will end up being true – or, at least, it seems that way based on the lineups Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has been employing so far in the Cactus League. The lineup Lovullo used on Monday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals looked like the closest thing yet to an Opening Day batting order (minus the designated hitter, of course).
Around the League
[The Athletic] Lights? Wristbands? Earpieces? MLB explores delivering signs through technology - Why are signs still being delivered to pitchers the same way they were a hundred years ago – with catchers wiggling their non-technologically enhanced fingers? Why, asks Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow, is baseball reacting to the Astros mess by talking about shutting down access to technology? Isn’t it possible that the long-term answer to combatting sign-stealing might actually be to embrace more technology? So … Flashing colored light bulbs? Signs that get delivered electronically to his glove? Bring them on, Glasnow says. All of them. Or pretty much any of them.
[FanGraphs] The Three Batter Minimum Rule’s Biggest Dilemma - The three-batter minimum rule is coming to a regular season game near you in just a couple weeks. The stated desire of the rule is to reduce those time-consuming and action-relieving breaks late in games as a parade of relievers come in to get just a couple of outs. (The rule, for those who need a refresher, requires pitchers to either face a minimum of three batters in an appearance or pitch to the end of a half-inning, with some exceptions allowed for injury and illness.) If pitchers are forced to stay in games, then we’ll end up with fewer pitching changes and fewer breaks. That’s the idea, anyway. Ben Clemens took a look back in December and found that the number of times the rule would have actually come into effect in 2019 was actually pretty minimal. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be an effect on strategy.
[MLB Trade Rumors] KBO Postpones Start Of Season; MLB Doesn’t Plan To Change Schedule - Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball took the more drastic measure to postpone the start of its regular season. The Korea Baseball Organization is now following the NPB’s lead, Dan Kurtz of MyKBO.Net reports (Twitter links). The league, which had already canceled preseason games, will hold off the beginning of its regular campaign until an April date that hasn’t been determined. It had been scheduled to kick off March 28. The KBO’s hope remains that it will play its typical 144-game season, Kurtz adds. Regardless, the league will notify its teams two weeks before it plans to start its regular season.
[ESPN] Christian Yelich will be paid deferred money by Brewers until 2042 - Milwaukee will be paying Christian Yelich until 2042, when the All-Star outfielder is 50 years old. Yelich’s $215 million, nine-year contract with the team calls for the Brewers to defer $4 million each year from his $26 million annual salary from 2022 to ‘28. The deal includes a $20 million mutual option for 2029 with a $6.5 million buyout, and $2 million of the buyout would be deferred. If the buyout is owed, the $30 million in deferred money would be paid in 12 installments of $2.5 million each July 1 from 2031 to ‘42. If the buyout is not owed, Yelich would receive the $28 million in 11 installments of $2.3 million each July 1 from 2031-41 and a final payment of $2.3 million on July 1, 2042.