PED issues, and more tidbits
In light of the recent PED related suspensions, imagine the impact if they were to add one more penalty. The MLB Players Association and the MLB owners would never agree to this, but I believe that it would have a far bigger impact if the teams are not allowed to replace the suspended players. In other words, if player is suspended for eighty games, his team would play with a twenty-four man roster for eighty games. I think that would lead to better prevention policies, and more of a deterrent.
If the MLB was serious about policing the game, they would implement a policy like this, or similar. Imagine this scenario...a team gets wind of a positive test one morning, and immediately makes a trade to upgrade their team, possibly bringing in a player better than than the one about to be suspended. Then the suspension comes, and that team has actually been able to strengthen its team, in lieu of that suspension. Seems unethical, but it could happen (and I think has already happened at least once)
But that's my two cents.
Some more interesting tidbits from the Elias Sports Bureau, pulled from a few sources:
- Assuming Thursday night's start was Jake Arrieta's final appearance of the month, he will finish April with a 5-0 record and a 1.00 ERA. Only six other pitchers won five games in the month of April with an ERA of 1.00 or lower: Walter Johnson (1913), Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Randy Johnson (2000), Cliff Lee (2008), Zack Grienke (2009), and Ubaldo Jiminez (2010).
- Neil Walker hit his ninth home run of the season in the Mets' 5-2 home win over the Reds on Wednesday. Walker, who has not yet hit a double or a triple in 2016, is the first Mets player whose first nine extra-base hits of a season all were all homers. The previous team record for that sort of thing had been held by Ron Swoboda, whose first eight extra-base hits cleared the fence in 1968.
- Logan Verrett pitched two innings of scoreless relief to earn the win for the Mets on Tuesday, just a day after getting his first relief win of 2016. Verrett was also called upon to make two starts for New York earlier this month, allowing no runs on six innings pitched in each outing. He is the first pitcher in major-league history with two relief wins and two scoreless starts of at least six innings before the end of April. The only other pitcher to do so in any calendar month over the last 50 years was Tom Bolton of the Red Sox in July 1990.
- Yadier Molina was behind the plate for the season opener, marking the 12th consecutive season in which he was the Cardinals' opening-day catcher. Since 1900, only two other players started at catcher in 12 straight season openers for one team: Ray Schalk, 15 seasons with the White Sox (1913-27); and Bill Dickey, 14 seasons with the Yankees (1930-43).
- David Ortiz slugged his 504th career home run in the Red Sox season-opening win in Cleveland on Tuesday. Ortiz, who turned 40 years old over the offseason, is the third 40-something to hit an opening day homer for Boston, joining Ted Williams (in Washington in 1960) and Carl Yastrzemski (in Milwaukee in 1980).