New MLB Rule Changes and the Impact on the Phillies
Another day, another MLB rule change and/or update. It’s almost expected at this point. Plan on seeing a lot of these posts until the whole season comes to a crashing halt. Here’s what we have today:
For the 2020 season, doubleheaders will be seven-inning games per the agreement reached yesterday between the MLBPA and MLB.
After the Marlins totally screwed up the start of the season, the Phillies season has also been put on hold while the team and league conduct testing on players. As of this morning, we still have ZERO positive test results for Phillies players.
The #Phillies have received the results of yesterday’s COVID-19 tests. There are no new positive results. Activity at Citizens Bank Park will remain suspended until further notice.
— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) July 31, 2020
Since the Phillies have been postponed, the league change will have a huge impact. You would think that updating the schedule would be top priority but the MLB has yet to do so. The Phillies were supposed to have a day off Monday before heading to Miami Tuesday through Thursday. Given the fact that the Marlins are still quarantined in Philadelphia, that series will not happen.
This gives a 4-day window to make up the four game home and home series with the Yankees assuming there are still no positive tests and both teams are comfortable with the health protocols in place.
That still leaves the Blue Jays series to be made up at some point in the season. The next time the Phillies and Blue Jays were set to play each other would be in late September. It’s looking likely that all 3 games in that series will be 7 inning double header games. During that stretch, the Phillies would be playing an astounding 12 games in 9-days.
National League teams with postponed games are already stacking up. The Brewers, Cardinals, Nationals, Marlins, Phillies have all experienced some sort of COVID-19 postponement.
Okay so given all of this information, it’s pretty clear that double headers will have a major impact on teams this season. A seven-inning game is a complete change in strategy. Doubleheaders are typically taxing on a team’s bullpen. However, a strong starting pitcher (Nola, Wheeler) will be able to go a full 7-innings. Good news for the Phillies because who the hell knows what’s happening with their bullpen. The bad news for the Phillies would be the fact that you would then lose both Nola and Wheeler for the next 4-5 days.
To keep it simple, playing 14 innings a day for any stretch of time in a condensed season with little to no rest in between is going to be tough on everyone. The Phillies aren’t even able to practice right now and will be expected to return to play next week with maybe 2-3 days off over the next 2 months. It will be interesting to watch Girardi manage players through this stretch.
Not like I have to tell you, but more information to come.
Ring that bell baby.