Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game.
In today’s Musings, we mourn not only a baseball icon, but a Civil Rights icon, another NL East team gets a new catcher, and the Indians lose a player to injury even before he reports to camp.
All this news and more in this week’s Musings.
News and Notes
83 - Years of age for Frank Robinson. Last week the MLB community mourned the passing of larger-than-life figure. Robinson is undoubtedly a top-20 hitter in the history of baseball, and earned MVP awards in both leagues. His impact went far beyond the field, as he was a civil rights icon, served as the first-ever African American manager, and remained an outspoken critic of the lack of ethnic diversity in baseball leadership. Later today Luis Torres takes a look at the Frank Robinson trade that is largely identified as one of the worst in baseball history.
3 - Highly touted prospects it took the Phillies to land Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. In exchange for one of the best catchers in the game, Miami received right-handed pitcher Sixto Sanchez, catcher Jorge Alfaro, left-handed pitcher Will Stewart, and international bonus pool money.
5 - National League teams that will have new starting catchers in 2019. One consequence of the Realmuto trade is that all five NL East teams will have a new backstop.
8 / 250 - years and dollars reportedly offered by the White Sox to Manny Machado. Neither Machado nor Bryce Harper have found landing spots, but we’ve heard several rumors of much lower deals being proposed by teams. There were also rumors over the weekend that the Yankees were getting back into the Machado race.
2022 - The earliest year in which the National League will potentially adopt the designated hitter. There were rumors last week that MLB was speeding towards a change, as soon as this year. We honestly should have known better, as nothing in the game ever moves that quickly. Commissioner Rob Manfred threw water on that idea pretty quickly, saying that the earliest the NL will take on the AL’s ‘experimental’ rule will be through the next collective bargaining agreement that would go into effect in 2022.
7-9 - Week recovery that Francisco Lindor will need, as he strained his calk preparing for spring training. Cleveland made the announcement last week, and looking at the timeline, it’s possible, though unlikely, he’ll be ready for Opening Day.
6/8 - This June 8th, the Rangers will retire Adrian Beltre’s number 29. Beltre had a fantastic career in Texas, posting over 43 wins per Baseball-Reference.
45 - Days until Opening Day!