Major League Baseball was supposed to launch the 2020 regular season 10 weeks ago, on March 26. The spread of the novel coronavirus, however, forced MLB to delay Opening Day to some unknowable future date that is dependent on the effectiveness of the containment strategies imposed across the country in recent months and.
Because we could all use a distraction these days, we've decided to pass time by simulating the season on Out of the Park Baseball 21. Along the way, we'll be providing updates on what's happening in our fictional league, similar to what we did on Opening Day.
With that in mind, here are the would-be standings and five developments to be mindful of from the week that was (and wasn't).
1. Arrieta done for the season
The Phillies are closer to last place than first place, and they received some more bad news this week: right-hander Jake Arrieta will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn labrum. To be fair, Arrieta hadn't performed well in 12 starts: he had a 1-10 record and a 7.26 ERA. The Phillies have promoted Zach Eflin to take his spot in the rotation.
2. Diamondbacks land Yates
This season has not gone according to plan for the Padres, who started the dismantling process by shipping closer Kirby Yates to the Diamondbacks. In return, the Padres received right-handers Corbin Martin and Drey Jameson, as well as infielders Kershawn Lynch and Dairon Cueves. Yates figures to step in as the Diamondbacks closer despite some early-season struggles that have left him with a 5.50 ERA and .320 batting average against in 18 innings.
3. Streaking Astros acquire Richards
The Diamondbacks weren't the only team to make a deal with the Padres this week. The Astros, who have won eight games in a row and are 9-1 in their last 10 contests, added Garrett Richards to their rotation. Richards has a 4.07 ERA and 33 more strikeouts than walks in 13 starts this season. The Astros sent a pair of catchers to the Padres: last year's first-round pick, Korey Lee, and Michael Papierski.
4. Reds create separation
The Reds have built themselves a nice little lead in the National League Central, and this week helped them fortify it. Cincy is now six games up on second-place St. Louis thanks to an 8-2 stretch that saw the Reds win each of their last three games. The Reds rank first in the NL in runs scored, as well as fifth in both rotation and bullpen ERA. They also rank second in defensive efficiency. They're a pretty good team, in other words.
5. Tucker maintains steals lead
Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker isn't thought of as a burner, but to his credit, he's leading the league with 23 steals. It's unclear if Tucker will be able to hold on to the top spot for much longer: Ronald Acuna Jr. has 22 steals, and Trea Turner has 21.
Hitting performance of the week
Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was bound to show up here one of these weeks. This just so happened to be that week. Soto had a big game against the Phillies, going 3 for 3 with a pair of home runs, five runs batted in, and two walks as part of a 12-6 win. Soto is now hitting .320/.449/.598 with 14 homers over his first 62 games this season.
Pitching performance of the week
Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi used to play for the Rays, a fact that provided a convenient storyline for what turned out to be the first no-hitter of the season. Odorizzi held the Rays to just three walks and struck out 12 batters en route to the no-no. Odorizzi can only hope his outing represents the turnaround his season needs, as he has a 5.69 ERA on the year.