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Marty’s musings: rules changes, Clevinger’s injury, and ARod wants to buy the Mets

Pitchers and catchers reported to camp last week, but it’s the Astros circus that’s still in the news. 

Los Angeles Angels Vs New York Mets Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

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, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.

Baseball mourns the untimely death of Tony Fernandez, the Indians lose their de facto ace to injury,and ARod’s in the news in a surprising way. It’s all in this week’s musings.

News & Notes

57 - Age of former Blue Jays’ infielder Tony Fernandez. Fernandez passed away last week after long health battles stemming from kidney disease. Fernandez played for the Jays for 12 years, and made several stops in other cities over the course of his 17-year career.

30 - Teams’ pitchers and catchers reported to camp last week, marking the unofficial start of spring. All except Zach Grienke, that is. Despite us getting closer and closer to the season, it’s been the Astros’ players’ interviews that has sucked up a ton of media attention.

4 - Rule changes announced by Rob Manfred last week including a reduction in the amount of time managers have to challenge a play (20 seconds instead of 30), changes to the injured list that requires pitchers and two-way players to be on the list for a minimum of 15 days, a three-batter minimum for any pitcher in a game, and some active roster changes that streamlined roster expansions and clarification of two-way players that limits position players pitching in blow-outs.

3 - Billion dollar price tag the Wilpons reportedly have put on the Mets, following the Steve Cohen ownership transfer debacle. An unlikely candidate to lead an ownership group emerged last week, when rumors emerged that Alex Rodriguez was interested in being the face of the Mets. Strange times…

126 - Innings Mike Clevinger pitched in 2019 due to injuries to his back and ankle. Generally speaking, previous health predicts future health, and unfortunately for Cleveland, Clevinger is back on the shelf again, and although there is no specific timetable for his return, he is expected to miss significant time to start the 2020 season following knee surgery.

23 - Year-old Alex Verdugo, the main return piece in the Mookie Betts trade, is likely to start the season on the injured list due to a bad back. The Red Sox decisions continue to drive more and more fan frustration.

45 - Days until Opening Day.

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano