Morning, everyone, hope you’re hanging in there. We have a short, but fun, mailbag for you this week. Hope you enjoy it! Remember to submit your questions in our weekly call or by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
The idiot that said, ‘Harper is coming” asks: It is looking more like July 1 as being a realistic Opening Day. If that happens, what will the season look like? There will be 92 days left to schedule games through September. An 80-game season could make sense, but taking advantage of 13 weekends might make a 90-game schedule possible by adding some weekend doubleheaders. How many home runs will lead leagues in a half season?
This is a fun question. Andrés talked about some of the weird stat lines we could see in an abbreviated season yesterday, but how about home runs? To get an idea for how many home runs were hit in a half-season, I looked up the first-half leaders from the last three years.
2019 - Christian Yelich (31)
2018 - Jose Ramirez (29)
2017 - Aaron Judge (30)
The baseline is 30 home runs. You know what, I’ll take the over. The season will primarily get played out in the warm months of July and August, when balls tend to fly out of the park at a greater frequency. I’d imagine the players will want to let it rip after a long layoff, too. Give me more than 30 high-stakes dingers.
Ross asks: In the absence of any sports (or new entertainment, for that matter), shouldn’t the Yankees break their camp into three teams and play a round-robin tournament, giving one team a day off every two days? With the abundance of technology in Tampa, they could televise these games and help MLB Network have content during hard times while also giving birth to thousands more Yankees fans?
Unfortunately, it’s not known how much longer the Yankees will have in Tampa. The MLBPA reportedly issued guidance yesterday informing players to prepare for a complete shutdown of operations. The TV trucks also left Steinbrenner Field last week.
TV truck departing Steinbrenner Field pic.twitter.com/oVWijS601j— Erik Boland (@eboland11) March 14, 2020
That said, I think this could be a huge marketing opportunity for MLB. Lindsey Adler wrote a story about the team’s highly competitive Madden league. How about the players get on Twitch and stream them? What if the league hosted a tournament where players showed off their skills on MLB The Show 20? It could even be sillier than that—players can host cooking shows, or Mike Trout could give daily weather forecasts. Imagine Didi Gregorius teaching an art class. Now is when the league could highlight its players’ personalities. I would watch all of that content.
Rick asks: Gio Urshela has a handful of major-league innings at shortstop. Have the Yankees even considered him there? I know that they LOVE his defense at third, but how about Gleyber Torres at second, Gio at short and DJ LeMahieu at third? I kind of like the sound of that.
This is one of those ideas that sounds better on paper than in practice. Recency bias, namely five spring-training errors at shortstop for Torres, has everyone down on the 22-year-old’s defense. It’s his natural position, however, and I never like the idea of playing two infielders out of position. LeMahieu has plenty of experience at third base, but he’s a second baseman by trade. Urshela, meanwhile, has 85 total innings at short. I think the club should just keep things as is, knowing there will be a growth period for Torres to improve his defense.