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If Major League Baseball plays its 2020 season, then several big-name stars will be ready due to the suspension caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Such superstars as two-time AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and 2017 AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge all could overcome serious injuries in time to be ready for an opening day over the summer.
As the pandemic becomes more widespread in America, sports leagues are coming to terms with playing shortened seasons due to the tight calendar. With MLB’s schedule slated to end in late October, the possibility of pushing the outdoor sport into the winter would cause a host of issues that the commissioner, owners, and players would have to overcome.
With those issues in mind, writers believe that baseball would play a shortened season that would allow these injured superstars plenty of time to recover and make their return in time for Opening Day.
One of the biggest injuries of spring training happened in Houston Astros camp as their ace, Justin Verlander, hurt his lat muscle, in part as compensation for a nagging groin injury. Before the suspension, Verlander had been shut down to repair the injured back muscle through rest, leaving the groin injury to heal on its own.
But with the suspended season, Verlander decided to have the groin injury repaired surgically after suffering a setback in rehab. “After a recent setback in his rehab, the medical staff recommended that a surgical procedure was necessary,” Astros General Manager James Click said.
Without Verlander, a wobbly Astros starting rotation would have been on even shakier ground, but with the break due to the coronavirus outbreak, the two-time Cy Young Award winner should return to full strength in 6-8 weeks.
If MLB plays a reduced schedule of around 81 games, which equates to roughly half of the normal 162-game schedule, Verlander should be ready to lead the Astros through around 16 total starts.
Two huge cogs in the New York Yankees lineup, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, are both suffering from injuries that would have cost them the significant time had the season began on March 26th.
Stanton, who missed most of 2019 with several injuries, and Judge, who has a fractured rib that has not healed since last September, are rehabbing in Tampa, Florida at the club’s spring training facilities.
Stanton hurt his calf during spring training, causing groans among Yankees fans who were expecting another fractured season for the right-fielder, but with the unknown Opening Day date, the 2017 NL MVP could be 100 percent to open the truncated 2020 campaign.
Judge’s injury is a bit trickier as he tries to heal a broken rib that has not healed from last September after diving to catch a fly ball. If Judge’s rib cannot heal on its own, the outfielder will need a surgical intervention to get back to full strength.
No Major League Baseball players have tested positive as of yet, although two New York Yankees minor leaguers have contracted the virus.
There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball with 15 teams in each the American and National League.
Owners and the MLBPA are working on a pay ahead plan that would give players an income while the season is on hiatus.
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