Houston Astros: Although not perfect, the MLB restart is on the horizon

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred | Houston Astros (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred | Houston Astros (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros start to the season could be around the corner so it’s time for the guys to start gearing up. What will things look like? Let’s look.

Houston Astros‘ faithful — we’re edging closer and closer to what we may experience as a restart being on the horizon.  Players are being told to start getting themselves into game shape as the MLB and the MLBPA will be voting on a proposal within the week on how things will look once the proverbial tarp has been lifted up from the field this upcoming season.

As we rewind back to the two months ago, right in the middle of Spring Training, the Houston Astros were fine-tuning themselves for a promising season without the likes of an injured Justin Verlander to take the bump for the ballyhooed Opening Day start.

The Houston Astros were three weeks into the routine with their last action being a 6-2 loss to the defending champ Washington Nationals at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches back March 11.  It was a promising start by Lance McCullers Jr. but further escalated our concerns about the viability of top pitching prospect Forrest Whitley, who has faced a slew of injuries plus a suspension.

But things have changed, with nearly two months off, these guys should be well-rested and it’s highly-likely that Verlander will be ready to go when that time comes.

When?  There are talks of the Spring Training to restart in mid-June with the season to start as early as July 1 meaning that they could be just weeks away from taking the field again.

Could we see George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Zack Greinke, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and more sooner than later?

Although there was some semblance of an MLB “bubble” to be proposed — in either Arizona or a select-few of home stadiums — ESPN’s Jeff Passan is reporting that there’s momentum of the teams just playing in their home stadiums without fans.  Outside of the buzz that would normally create and the massive amount of testing that would be required to keep players safe, most of the daily activities of baseball would remain the same.

But the league may still be further away than we think in terms of a set-in-stone start date.  The question

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of what would be the contingency if a player tested positive still has not been addressed yet even the leagues like the NBA have already addressed that concern, ensuring it does not disrupt the season.

The league has to work that out plus address those that don’t feel comfortable playing under the conditions of staying safe of a pandemic, of which a few players have already expressed that concern.

But regardless, no league restart is going to be perfect but it will be under the safest conditions possible because although it’s important to get things going, you don’t want your product diluted by multiple players being sidelined after contracting the coronavirus.

We’ll know more about how things are going to look this week but I’m certainly hoping for a restart soon.  I truly miss my Houston Astros but I know the importance of mitigating a health crisis is just as important.

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Until then, we must wait…

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s Web site or the Web site for your state’s Department of Health.