We continue to wonder how much longer baseball can struggle on under the current situation of schedule changes due to COVID 19 outbreaks. In any event, we can make several observations so far from a distant perspective.
Last season in the Florida State League opener, we were able to watch a matchup of the Dunedin Blue Jays Nate Pearson, and the Clearwater Threshers, Spencer Howard. Pearson out-pitched Howard that night but you could easily tell that they were two of the best pitchers in minor league baseball after the first inning
They had very similar numbers in most of the games they pitched last season in the Florida State League. Pearson allowed only two earned runs in 21 innings. Howard did allow three earned runs on opening night but allowed only two earned runs over his final FSL 30.2 innings.
Pearson would put 100 mph up on the Spectrum Field scoreboard opening night. Howard would hit 98 mph on the same speed gun.
Pearson made his MLB debut for the Blue Jays, Wednesday night, and did not disappoint. He pitched a five inning, two-hit, shutout striking five in that game against the Washington Nationals. He was remove only because of a pitch limit.
Howard remains on the Phillies Taxi Squad awaiting his turn to make his major league debut. He has pitched in intrasquad play at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown.
This week a former Phillies farmhand Jacob Waguespack pitched in middle relief for the Blue Jays against the Nationals. In two appearances this season, he has already pitched 3.2 innings of no-hit, no-run ball.
Jacob was a starter last season for the Jays where he went 5-5 in his first season in the majors. The Phillies never gave him much of a chance in the minors before they traded him away.
In Phillies Taxi Squad games in Allentown over the last week, the catchers have stood out. Deivy Grullon hit three home runs in five games. Rafael Marchan had several base hits. Logan O’Hoppe drilled a couple of hard-hit doubles down the third base line. In his most recent appearance Connor Brogdon looked major league ready with his breaking pitch on a strikeout in his one inning out of the pen.
The 2020 MLB baseball season moves on but for how much longer remains to be seen because of COVID 19 hot spots.