HomeMLB RumorsThe Opener: Solar Eclipse, Story, Snell, Dodgers

The Opener: Solar Eclipse, Story, Snell, Dodgers

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With roughly 5% of the 2024 MLB regular season in the books, here are a few things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:

1. Solar eclipse to appear over MLB stadiums:

A total solar eclipse will appear in the skies over North America today for the first time since 2017 and the final time until 2044. Baseball fans around the country will be able to enjoy the eclipse, with fans in Cleveland in particular getting a special treat. The Guardians are opening the gates to Progressive Field at 1pm CT, as noted MLB.com. That’s just over an hour before the eclipse will begin, which itself will occur roughly two hours before the club’s game against the White Sox is scheduled to begin at 4:10pm CT.

Progressive Field is one of two ballparks in the path of totality hosting a baseball game today, joining the Rangers’ Globe Life Field. However, the game between the Rangers and the Astros is scheduled to begin at 7:05pm CT, long after the eclipse will have passed over the city of Arlington. The Yankees/Marlins in New York, the Cardinals/Phillies game in St. Louis, the Pirates/Tigers game in Pittsburgh, the Reds/Brewers game in Cincinnati, and the Mariners/Blue Jays game in Toronto will all occur in cities where fans will be able to view an eclipse of at least 90% today.

2. Story to undergo exam:

Red Sox shortstop Trevor Story is set to undergo an exam today to determine the severity of a shoulder subluxation that sent the 31-year-old back to the injured list over the weekend. As chief baseball officer Craig Breslow told reporters this weekend, it remains unclear if Story will be able to return to the field this season or if surgery will be required on his ailing shoulder.

It’s the latest brutal setback for Story during his tenure in Boston, which has seen him play just 134 games between the 2021 and 2022 seasons due to wrist, heel, and elbow injuries. Even when he’s been healthy enough to take the field during that time, he’s struggled to a slash line of just .227/.287/.398 at the plate. The club figures to rely on a combination of David Hamilton and Pablo Reyes at shortstop for the time being while Story is on the shelf, though it’s possible that a youngster such as Ceddanne Rafaela or Vaughn Grissom could contribute at the position at some point should Story face a lengthy absence.

3. Snell set for Giants debut:

After spending nearly the entire offseason on the free agent market, Blake Snell is set to make his Giants debut today. The reigning NL Cy Young winner, who inked a two-year, $62MM contract that includes an opt-out clause next offseason, will square off against the rebuilding Nationals and right-hander Trevor Williams in front of Giants fans at Oracle Park tonight. Snell tossed 74 pitches in a simulated game against Giants Double-A hitters last week and has been facing live hitters for several weeks now. Still, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests he’ll likely be limited to the 70-80 pitch range in his first outing of the season as he finishes ramping up to larger per-start workloads.

Snell will join Cy Young runner-up Logan Webb, top prospect Kyle Harrison, sophomore Keaton Winn and reliever-turned-starter Jordan Hicks in the Giants’ rotation.

4. Dodgers to add Brogdon:

The Dodgers acquired right-hander Connor Brogdon from the Phillies over the weekend — a buy-low move on a 29-year-old who entered the 2024 campaign with a career 3.55 ERA and 4.04 FIP. Brogdon, who’s looking to rebound from a down year in 2023 and poor start to the 2024 season, has not officially joined the team yet. Manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Jack Harris of the L.A. Times) that he’ll be doing so today ahead of this evening’s game against the Twins in Minnesota.

Some sort of corresponding move will need to be made to accommodate Brogdon’s addition to the active roster, though his spot on the 40-man was already secured by the club’s decision to designate right-hander Dinelson Lamet for assignment recently. Lefty Alex Vesia and righties Michael Grove and Gus Varland are the only optionable pitchers in the club’s bullpen as things stand, making one of that trio most likely to head to the minors, barring a surprise injury announcement. Brogdon is out of minor league options, so he can’t be sent to Triple-A himself without clearing waivers.

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