MLB Notebook: Players’ Weekend returns with adjustments

Brett Holden
4 hours ago

MLB Players’ Weekend returns with adjustments

The fan-favourite Players’ Weekend is making its return this season. Major League Baseball announced August 16th-18th will mark the comeback of the event, but with some new twists. 
Each day of the weekend will have a theme for the uniforms and gear the players will wear. 
  • Friday will be “Fun” day, in which the players will be able to wear gear that displays fun aspects of player personalities, off-field interests, and friendships.
  • Saturday will be dedicated to “Causes” where games and equipment will be dedicated to community initiatives and charities supported by the teams and players.
  • Finally, Sunday will be the day of “Appreciation.” Player equipment will feature the people who got them to the Major Leagues and celebrate the journey to the MLB.
However, the one aspect of Players Weekend that everyone liked (maybe just me), the jerseys will no longer include player nicknames on the back of the shirt. So, first, they take our quality jerseys from us, and now they take our freedom? 
The equipment the players are allowed to get creative with are their bats, cleats, and batting gloves. 
The MLB says the event aims to “showcase players beyond their on-field performance, telling their stories and appealing to young baseball fans and casual followers of the sport.”
When asked about the absence of the nicknames on the jerseys, A’s pitcher Ross Stripling was disappointed, saying, “that was kind of the most fun part.”
The players will also don specially designed caps that will include each player’s number in what the MLB is calling a “youthful design.”
Players Weekend first debuted during the 2017 season but ended before the 2020 season. This will be the first time the weekend has been involved in the MLB season since 2019. 

A slew of injuries around the league as multiple players hit the IL

The season of injuries continued this week as seven more players were played on the Injured List. Three Cubs, Boston’s Opening Day starter, and one of the most highly-coveted free agents this winter have all hit the IL this week and are expected to miss some time. 
Let’s start with the big-name free agent, Blake Snell, who signed with the San Francisco Giants a week before Opening Day. Snell hits the IL with a strained adductor on his left side. The strain is described as “moderate” after he got scratched from his fourth start of the season. According the Snell this is the third time he has suffered the injury, missing time in 2021 and 2022. 
I think I’m stronger now, so I don’t think it’s as bad as what they say.”
The injury left Snell out of the rotation for a month in 2021 and then he missed three weeks in 2022, but Snell thinks he can make a speedy recovery. 
I’d say probably like two weeks. If everything goes well, that’s what I want.”
Speaking of big-name free agents, Cody Bellinger is one of three Chicago Cubs destined for the IL. Bellinger left the Cubs series opener against the Houston Astros on Tuesday after colliding with the left-center-field wall at Wrigley Field while tracking down a Yanier Diaz deep fly-ball. Bellinger cracked two ribs on the play and is expected to miss a considerable amount of time but there is no current timetable for a return. Belly has been hot as of late smashing three homers and bringing in seven runs on 10 hits since April 14th. But, he will not be the only Cubbie on the injured list.
Pitchers Drew Smyly and Kyle Hendricks have hit the IL for Chicago as both will miss time with injuries not to their arm. Smyly will miss time with a right hip impingement, and Kyle Hendricks will spend some time on the injured list for a lower back strain. The two pitchers are a combined 2-5 this season with both wins credited to Drew Smyly. In return, the Cubbies will call up LHP Luke Little and RHP Hayden Wesneski
The Boston Red Sox will also see a pitcher hit the IL as Opening Day starter, Brayan Bello. Bello is the third pitcher in the last two weeks to hit the injured list along with Nick Pivetta and Garrett Whitlock, plus, Lucas Giolito is still out with his UCL injury after undergoing surgery in the spring. Bello will hit the 15-day IL with lat tightness but Red Sox Manager, Alex Cora, says he doesn’t believe the injury will leave him out for too long.
He’ll be OK… This is more about taking care of him. Hopefully he’ll be back when he’s supposed to come back.”
Finally, two impactful middle-infielders will also miss some time for a couple of American League teams. First, the Seattle Mariners will be without SS, J.P. Crawford as they placed him on the 10-day IL on Thursday. Crawford will hit the injured list with an oblique strain on his right side. The injury occurred during batting practice when Crawford was taking hacks his third time around. After taking an awkward swing during the session, Crawford knew something was wrong. 
I instantly felt it just grab… I tried to take one more swing after that and knew something was up.”
The Oakland Athletics will also be out without their big-time middle infielder as Zack Gelof will also miss some time with an oblique strain. Gelof initially felt discomfort in his left side when the A’s began their series against the Cleveland Guardians. Gelof said the injury steadily got worse throughout the series and will now have to miss some time. Gelof is in his first full season in the Majors and was aiming for a 150-game season. Gelof had played in each of the A’s 24 games this season and he hopes he won’t be out for too long.
I feel like I dodged a bullet… Hopefully, it’ll be a short stint on the IL and I’ll be back to playing every day.”
Another week, another slew of injuries to an important player. Hopefully, next week, we can return with some good news on the injury front. 

Quick Notes:

  • Aaron Judge passes Derek Jeter on the Yankees’ all-time home run list. With his 261st home run in pinstripes, Judge passed Jeter for ninth on the franchise’s all-time list, bringing him only 14 back of Jorge Posada in eighth.
  • Johnny Cueto signs a minor-league deal with the Texas Rangers. Cueto pitched last season with the Miami Marlins and will reunite with his former manager in San Francisco, Bruce Bochy.
  • The Orioles call up Heston Kjerstad and send down Jackson Holliday. Kjerstad, who is the O’s No. 4 prospect, got into his 14th MLB game on Wednesday, going 0-4 and striking out three times. On Friday, the O’s sent down MLB No. 1 prospect Jackson Holliday after he went a measly 2-54 in his Major League career.

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