As of now, the best-case scenario is for the MLB season to resume on May 11, according to a league announcement earlier in the week. Even that seems like a pipe dream, but regardless of when exactly the season begins, Joe Girardi will have quite a few crucial roster decisions to make.
One of those decisions will be who will win the fifth starter battle for the Phillies. Judging by what Girardi told the media, the idea of a clear winner emerging seems unlikely.
“As of right now, there is no change in that,” Girardi said to the media, including the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Bob Brookover. “My question is as we run through this, if we’re out a long time and spring training is short, I think we’re going to need multiple-inning guys, so I think we’re going to use all of them in a sense. We have not named anyone yet and we probably won’t because we have to see where we’re at.”
Before the delay of the season, it was likely that two of either Velasquez, Pivetta and Suarez would stay on the major league roster with the odd man out being sent down to Triple-A. Barring injury, it seems as though all three will be called upon to contribute in the big leagues this season in some capacity as starters will need extra time to build up their strength to pitch deep into games.
It’ll be interesting to see how the need for multi-inning relievers affects the look of the Phillies bullpen come Opening Day. Girardi also said that he feels ‘pretty good,’ about having injured relievers Victor Arano and Tommy Hunter ready for the start of the season.
Phillies pledge $1 million to hourly ballpark employees
There is some positive news to report.
MLB and each of the 30 teams is collectively pledging to donate $30 million to pay hourly ballpark employees who are financially impacted by the postponement of games due to the COVID-19 outbreak.Embed from Getty Images
As part of the league-wide agreement, the Phillies are allocating one million dollars to pay their part-time and seasonal employees. The money will go a long way for the hundreds of Citizens Bank Park employees who have suddenly lost a source of income.
“During this period of uncertainty, the Phillies want to provide reassurance to our staff by making financial assistance available to those who have been impacted by the delay of the start of the 2020 regular season,” John Middleton said in a press release.
“Their contributions are a vital part of our fans’ experience at Citizens Bank Park, and we want them to have peace of mind as we navigate through this unprecedented time.”
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was the first to announce his intentions to pay hourly arena workers for lost wages after the NBA season was suspended last Wednesday. Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer and Astros outfielder George Springer joined NBA stars such as Zion Williamson, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Steph Curry in giving back to their respective facility’s staff. Bauer’s “Sandlot’ charity wiffle ball game in Arizona on Sunday raised money for ballpark employees who will lose wages during the postponement. Springer announced through his agency that he will be donating $100,000 to Minute Maid Park employees.
South Philadelphia Sports Complex could be used as COVID-19 testing spot
On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Task Force 1 erected tents along Citizens Bank Way, which stretches between the Third Base and Left Field gates at the ballpark. PA-TF-1, which is one of 28 groups established by FEMA that can respond to disasters such as the ongoing pandemic, is testing the Sports Complex as a possible site in which residents can be tested for COVID-19:
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