Opportunity, approach, mindset and health will mix with some rule adjustments to an abbreviated campaign and a distinctive postseason, plus Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and his contemporaries won’t be under their current roster freeze.
Presently, the Philadelphia Phillies faithful can expect another two months without baseball, and preparatory training could resume on roughly June 1. Prediction: Games in empty parks will have sports-hungry spectators even for televised exhibition contests. Also, this unique opportunity will create a striking dynamic.
IN OTHER WORDS:
“Obviously, raw talent is important, but the difference-maker between first and the rest of the pack is usually desire.” – Zig Ziglar
For ’20, the lords of baseball are working to present fanless games in mostly Cactus League stadiums for exhibition contests and in-season battles through July. But if they can achieve a second camp for June and a month’s worth of campaign games, they will without hesitation.
As for 2020’s variables, health will be more critical to an organization’s success because losing a key piece for six weeks will equal half of an abbreviated schedule. To illustrate, 81 contests with a six-man rotation to accommodate for doubleheaders would reduce 14 of Aaron Nola‘s starts to only seven. Kiss 2020 goodbye!
For David Robertson, the final two months before October would give the Fightins a solid closer. Granted, he wouldn’t be the best, but the red pinstripes probably wouldn’t need the top gun to strike 2020’s gold. And he would push Hector Neris into the eighth-inning setup role.
With good luck and minimal injuries, the Phils could have the opportunity of a baseball lifetime. Translation: There were no asterisks for the strike-abbreviated winners in 1981 and 1994. But ’20 could be the first truncated start to a season, and no one will probably complain about 81 games instead of none.
For some players, 2020 is their walk year, and they have the added incentive of a career-altering contract. So, a statistical accomplishment for even half a campaign will be easier because they will be fresh for the entire summer and playoffs.
As for MiLB call-ups, only one league would exist with top minor league talent and veterans who didn’t make a major league team due to the circumstances. And rookies on expanded rosters will have a real shot to stick in the majors because of the limited competition on each club.