Major League Baseball (MLB) was taken away from fans during the majority of the 2021-2022 offseason. Now in a lockout,a strike brought on by the owners, MLB still isn’t in full swing.
Pitchers and catchers were supposed to report to spring training this week, however, they were prevented from doing so. Commissioner Robert Manfred spoke to the public on Feb. 10. In this press conference, he said there were agreements for many things, however, the lockout is still in place.
Manfred said the players need four weeks of spring training to have a good season. This gives the MLB and the Major League Baseball Player Association (MLBPA) a deadline of March 3.
One writer following the lockout carefully is Mark Simon. Simon is senior research analyst for Sports Info Solutions. One thing already agreed upon is a universal Designated Hitter (DH). For decades, the National League (NL) has not used a DH whereas the American League (AL) has.
“You’re going to see more offense because you’re going to have more capable hitters in the lineup,” Simon said. “If you look at 2019 and 2021, the difference between the NL and AL is about 300 runs per season in total, so that’s about 20 runs more per team. One thing that will be nice,you’ll be able to compare NL and AL pitchers on a more even playing field since NL pitchers won’t have the benefit of [usually] facing a pitcher in a game.”
Along with this, there is going to be a lottery system for the draft to avoid teams “tanking” or purposefully getting worse to make more money. Another person who has been following the lockout has been Derrick Goold. Goold is the lead Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
“You would have to have a record under .500 [for the Cardinals to get a first overall pick in the draft],” Goold said.
With March 3 approaching, commissioner Manfred said he’s optimistic for the season starting on time.
“I think the season will start by April 15,” Simon said. “So not necessarily on time, but close.”
Goold also believes the season has a chance to start on time.
“It is possible for the season to start on time,” Goold said. “[There is] still time for a breakthrough within the next 10 days,”
The final thing Goold and Simon talked about was the amount of free agent signings when the lockout is over. Goold is saying there will be signings as the teams go through spring training. Simon is saying it will be a free-for-all before spring training starts.
Both Simon and Goold said the Cardinals need to add another bullpen piece to make a real push for the World Series. Simon also said a player like Joc Pederson or Kyle Schwarber could help the team out in a DH role. Both writers believe the Cardinals could make a series push for the World Series in 2022.