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Snake Bytes 6/30: Who is on First?

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60 man rosters were announced yesterday, although changes are inevitable due to players opting out or testing positive for COVID-19.

MLB: Spring Training-Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Diamondbacks News

[Arizona Sports] Projecting the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day active roster - The Arizona Diamondbacks have to get their Opening Day roster down to 30. On Monday, they announced the pool of 60 players that they’ll bring into spring — er, summer — camp this week. But what will that active roster look like? New rules, such as the placement of a runner on second base in extra innings and the use of a designated hitter in both leagues, could change the dynamics of roster construction for general manager Mike Hazen. Plus, unforeseen circumstances throughout the season could prompt Hazen to change course and make additions and subtractions from the player pool. “None of us have ever done this before,” Hazen said to media members in a video call on Monday. “None of us have ever played without a minor league season. How do you calculate the loss of a season for any one person?”

[D’backs.com] D-backs RHP Leake elects not to play in 2020 - D-backs right-hander Mike Leake has elected not to play in the upcoming 60-game season. “I got a phone call from Mike Leake the other day and he has informed us that that is what he is going to do,” D-backs GM Mike Hazen said. Leake’s agent, Danny Horwits, issued the following statement: “During this global pandemic, Mike and his family had many discussions about playing this season. They took countless factors into consideration, many of which are personal to him and his family. After thorough consideration, he has chosen to opt out of playing in 2020. This was not an easy decision for Mike. He wishes the best of luck and health for his Diamondbacks teammates this season and he’s looking forward to 2021.” Leake, who was acquired by the D-backs from the Mariners prior to last year’s Trade Deadline, has a mutual contract option for 2021 for $18 million with a $5 million buyout.

[The Athletic] Breaking down every player in the Diamondbacks’ 60-player pool for 2020 - Also missing are three other players on the team’s 40-man roster: Right-hander Bo Takahashi is stuck in his home country of Brazil and may not be able to return to the United States. Right-hander Silvino Bracho suffered a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery and will be placed on the 60-day injured list... Right-hander Emilio Vargas is also missing, although the organization has not given an explanation as to why. Then there are two non-roster omissions. Though he has been invited to big-league spring training the last two years despite being off the 40-man roster, Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomás will not train with the team this summer... Diamondbacks under general manager Mike Hazen have shown little inclination to keep playing an underperforming player signed by the previous regime. Whatever the case, Tomás still will be paid his salary on a prorated basis. The other player missing is outfielder Kristian Robinson, who is among the team’s very best prospects. In this case, the Diamondbacks are taking advantage of a technicality. Robinson never returned home to the Bahamas for fear that it would be difficult to come back to the U.S. Because of that, he was allowed limited access to Salt River Fields to train over the last few months.

Around the League

[CBS] Growing number of MLB players opting out of 2020 season over coronavirus - A growing number of players have chosen to sit out the 2020 MLB season. Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross of the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals, Mike Leake of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies are opting out over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The season is scheduled to begin at the end of July. “After a great deal of thought and given my family circumstances — three young children, including a newborn, and a mother at high risk — I have decided not to participate in the 2020 season,” Zimmerman said Monday in a statement. Zimmerman expressed regret he would not be able to attempt to win back-to-back titles but said this was “the best decision for me and my family.”

[Yahoo Sports] Brewers’ Ryan Braun hopes there’s a 2020 MLB season because it could be his last - As Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun prepared to leave his Malibu home Monday to return to Milwaukee for the restart of team training, he wasn’t sure how long he would be gone. “There’s still a part of me that isn’t quite sure we will actually play games,” said Braun, a six-time All-Star. “I’m optimistic that we will play games, but obviously if we look at what’s happening in the country, the COVID numbers are not good. There are a significant number of athletes who have tested positive, which is indicative of the overall numbers in our country right now.”

[NBC Sports] Giants’ Hunter Bishop tests positive for coronavirus, to miss start of camp - Two days before players and coaches report to Oracle Park, the Giants announced that they have had their first player test positive for COVID-19. Outfielder Hunter Bishop, one of the organization’s top prospects and a first-round pick a year ago, tested positive last week and was left off the initial roster released by the Giants on Monday. Bishop is doing well, but he has to quarantine before being eligible to be part of Summer Camp. Bishop initially had been set to join the Giants for this week’s first workout. “He notified us, we’ve done contact tracing, he was not in contact with any of our players and staff subsequent to when he believes he was infected,” president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said. “He had very mild symptoms and from the reports we’re getting he’s improving.” Bishop has spent most of the last three months in the Phoenix area, but Zaidi said he had not been working at at the team’s facility

[MLB Trade Rumors] Jung Ho Kang Ends KBO Comeback Attempt - Former Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang had been hoping to make a professional comeback in his native Korea, but he has ended that attempt, Jeehoo Yoo of Yonhap News reports. It’s unclear whether Kang will try to play again outside of the Korea Baseball Organization. The Kiwoom Heroes hold the KBO rights over the 33-year-old Kang, who played for the club from 2010-14. Kang was successful enough in his homeland to earn a guaranteed contract from Pittsburgh, which signed him to a four-year, $11MM pact prior to the 2015 season. It looked like a wise investment for a little while, as Kang slashed a terrific .273/.355/.483 (129 wRC+) with 36 home runs and 5.8 fWAR in 837 plate appearances during his first two years in the majors. However, significant off-field problems – ones that have largely centered on issues with alcohol – have been an unfortunate part of the package.