Here are some notes from yesterday’s press call with Mike Hazen. Some of these points have made it out through various outlets, but here they are all in one place.
- The Diamondbacks, despite having an inordinate number of people in Arizona, did not increase their number of COVID-19 positives in the first round of COVID testing to be done as part of the return to play initiative. On the good side, that means Arizona’s players and staff have been both lucky and responsible in doing what they can to stay healthy and ready. Baseball’s 1.2% positive results is close to what one would expect from the national average. However, those positives were spread out over 19 teams and there are hundreds of tests still awaiting results. This is still very widespread and vigilance is needed for MLB to make it through this season. There are still no specifics on what might be considered a tipping point in MLB deciding to shut this all back down.
- The process of arrival and testing is a lengthy one. However, it is carefully scripted and seems to be moving along with nary a hitch. Still, the process means that most workouts for players are in the afternoon, after temps have started to rise. Otherwise, it would be the medical crew and support staff arriving to work in the “time to make the doughnuts” hours.
- Mike Hazen’s reaction being asked about Yasmany TOmas and his status showed a bit of irritation. If ever there was a player clearly in the doghouse, it is Tomas. Hazen is also quite visibly tired of talking about Tomas.
- Ken Kendrick sending his plane to pick up the Martes from the Dominican Republic was all about family. Families were excluded from being allowed to travel on the charter back to the States. Both Martes were given active and antibody tests both before leaving the DR and after arriving here in the States.
- Jon Duplantier experienced a setback (elbow discomfort) in early-April. His workload has backed down to see if they can work him through it. Corbin Martin continues to progress and is expected to be a 2020 contributor.
- Games at Chase will be played with the roof and panels open (assuming the monsoon rains permit).
- Some speculate that Hazen let slip that the Diamondbacks will start the season on the road in Texas or Seattle. However, the comments he made could also apply to starting the season at home. When asked about the schedule, “I cannot comment on the schedule at this time. I know they are working on it.”
Now, today’s news:
Initial reports are that 31 players and seven support staff have tested positive, brinigng the total positive tests to about 1.2 percent of tests.
Player workouts and practices look much different these days.
A number of teams have already announced their intention of going with a six-man rotation. Fangraphs takes a look at the impact of the compressed schedule on teams trying to stick with the “regular” five-man rotation.
The Cleveland franchise is looking to move on from their somewhat problematic team name.
The condensed schedule helps some teams more than others. Count the Diamondbacks among those teams.