The DMV was ready for two bros to start for the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day, but fate caught them looking. The Orioles and Boston Red Sox were postponed due to weather conditions in the Bean. Meanwhile, COVID-19 could extend the wait potentially for 14 days before the first pitch in the Nation’s Capital.
Josh Bell, one of the down-low free acquisitions during the off season was scheduled to make his debut at first base where he will replace Ryan “Mr. Nationals Zimmerman. Bell, a mainstay on The Shadow League’s Top MLB Black Knights list, is trying to rebound from a difficult 2020 campaign where his stats took a dip with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Nonetheless, he is a substantial defensive upgrade at the position.
Bell, who smashed 37 homers in 2019, signed a downgraded, one-year $6.35 million contract coming off a year where he struggled with a .226 batting average, just 8 dingers and a 26.5 percent strikeout rate (a career-worse) during the truncated 60-game season.
But hitting behind the Uber talented Juan Soto should give the Big Bopper every chance to rebound and solidify Washington’s first base position. If he does his thizzle, he will position himself to land a mega, multi-year deal from the organization. He was scorching at the plate over the last two weeks of Spring Training. On the other hand, if he fails, his career will be at a Khris Davis type of crossroads.
During a press conference, late Thursday afternoon National team president Mike Rizzo confirmed that four players tested positive for the coronavirus and have been placed under quarantine while MLB currently plans to let the Nats and Mets start the regular season on Friday.
However, D.C.’s COVID-19 protocols could be a conflict so stay tuned
The weather in Beantown delayed the debut of another newly-minted starter of African-American descent. A guy who is the leader of a bunting resurgence in the MLB, as players try to figure out ways around the infamous shift.
Baltimore’s Black Knight, Cedric Mullins, was scheduled to start for the Orioles in center field as their rebuild continues. Mullins is currently in a battle with Austin Hayes for the position as the long-term replacement to the departed perennial All-Star Adam Jones in center field. However, insiders tell me that the Orioles are hoping he can continue to develop and become their long-term leadoff hitter, to take advantage of his speed at the top of the lineup.