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TGP Mailbag: Baseball? Never heard of it

Apparently, a new sport has been invented

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

For some reason, I really thought Forsythe would make the team over Neil Walker. His versatility and ability to at least play shortstop was something I thought he had in his favor, but the team chose Walker over him and who knows, maybe they made the right call.

If we’re judging Forsythe from the past few season, the answer to is he washed is a pretty easy “no”. A .678 OPS in 367 PA last year should be enough evidence, but then he went and had himself a pretty good spring training, hitting for a slash line of .348/.464/.826, one of the better lines on the team during the spring. It was those numbers, plus manager Joe Girardi’s obvious preference for having a veteran presence on the bench that I thought gave him a leg up on a bench spot.

While it was just spring training and Forsythe did a lot of damage early on against non-MLB arms, he showed that perhaps there is still something he can offer a team. If the Marlins’ season is to resume and he gets a regular spot with regular time, I think putting up a 80, 85 OPS+ isn’t out of the question. It’s serviceable, nothing special, but something you can plug in the lineup every day.

Especially since the ball is juiced again.

I mean, did you SEE Velasquez’s start last week?

Velasquez will probably go down as the biggest tease in Phillies history. At least in recent memory (some of you older fans will know of someone else maybe). That game in which he struck out 16 in a complete game shutout will always be the carrot he’s chasing the rest of his career. Not that it’s over by a long shot, but he’s always seeming to want to duplicate whatever it was he had that day. We’ve always waited each and every year to see if he’ll actually do it and every year, it’s the same thing - loads of potential, short on results. Me personally, I’ve moved on. If he gives the team anything this year, it’ll be a bonus, but they can’t honestly tender him a contract when this season is over.

As for the rest of the rotation, it’s pretty easy. Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler will command as many starts as possible, Jake Arrieta will be given every chance to succeed before he moves along after the season is over and whenever they deem Spencer Howard ready, he’ll be up. The fifth starter’s job will be Zach Eflin’s whenever he is able to take the ball, so that gives the the team a pretty full rotation. On paper, it’s not that bad of a rotation, but we’ve seen how different this team is on paper compared to actually on the field.

That leads to a different question. With the team having been forced home during this time, will these guys have accrued service time? Does that mean Howard can rejoin the team once they fire back up? If each player has been allowed to accrue service time while they have been on pause, that would put the amount of days that Howard had to spend in the minors in the rearview mirror. Assuming the satellite camp hasn’t been stopped as well, Howard should have been active during this MLB layoff. Seems like these questions are things the team should want the answer to before they re-restart their season.

It’s fairly safe to assume that if the season is finished early, they’ll revert back to the draft order they used for the 2020 draft, fair or not. If they don’t and they decide to use this year’s winning percentage’s as the basis for the order - hey, first pick here we come!

Of course, if the season is ended early before the Phillies get to play another game, at the very least, the Phillies should be awarded the top pick simply because they were screwed over by Miami. They weren’t able to resume their season through no fault of their own. They’ve been following protocols thanks to the leadership of Joe Girardi and were forced to shut down because a team couldn’t follow the protocols their union leaders fought so hard for.

The Phillies should also get the Marlins’ pick in the first round as punishment.

Maybe. I’m still pretty bitter.

But if they continue to play this season out, they won’t finish anywhere near the bottom of the league. Have you seen Baltimore lately?

All I want is to sit down and watch a Phillies game. That too much to ask??!?!?!?!

I forget where I saw it on the Twitter machine, but someone said that these things that have been, and are continuing to be, negotiated aren’t just being negotiated for 2020. These are tests to see how teams like them for the future. This weird, truncated season was always the best opportunity for MLB to test those crazy Atlantic League ideas out in a real setting, but they’ve only dipped their toes in those waters.

Let’s start with the easy one, the National League DH. That one, I think is fair to say, is here to stay. With the ability to add 15 jobs to the ledger and extend the careers of many players, the union will probably make that a priority during negotiations for the next CBA. It’ll probably fall by the wayside in 2021 if baseball, and life, comes back to normal by then, but after that season you’ll more than likely see it made a permanent part of the game. Is that really such a bad thing? I know I think it is since I’m a baseball purist and wish for the National League and American League to remain different, but if the game does continue this season, most people will have gotten used to it.

The other things that are being tried this year - the baserunner on second for extra inning games, the 7 inning doubleheaders - I just don’t see them becoming a regular part of baseball. It’s possible that maybe the baserunner stays, but man would that be weird. It’s a good way to make sure that the players aren’t exposed to each other on the field longer than they need to in 2020, but messing with the tradition of the game too much is something baseball likes to do at a glacial pace.

The 7 inning doubleheaders are stupid and better not stay around.