MLB rumors: Commissioner Rob Manfred warns MLBPA of potential shutdown

MLB rumors: Commissioner Rob Manfred warns MLBPA of potential shutdown

After just one week of baseball, the abbreviated 2020 MLB season already could be in jeopardy.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has informed MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark that the season could be shut down if teams don't do a better job mitigating the spread of coronavirus, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported, citing sources, on Friday.

Eighteen players from the Miami Marlins and two players from the St. Louis Cardinals reportedly have contracted the virus since the season began last week. In MLB's latest testing results revealed Friday, which includes coaches and staff members, there were a total of 29 new positive cases among 11,895 samples collected (0.2 percent). The Marlins and Cardinals are among eight MLB teams that have had their schedules affected by the virus.

The Giants and A's have not reported any new positive cases since the season began, and their schedules thus far have not been impacted.

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Washington Nationals star Juan Soto tested positive for the virus just hours before his team opened up the 2020 season against the New York Yankees on Opening Night. After the team voted not to travel to Miami for this weekend's series against the Marlins, the Nationals now will be off for the weekend.

The Philadelphia Phillies also currently have their season on hold after a pair of positive tests at their facility Thursday, and Friday's matchup between the Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers was postponed after the two Cardinals players' positive tests.

[RELATED: Stamina for A's pitchers will be vital in grueling stretch]

The Yankees and Baltimore Orioles played a quick two-game series this week after both had scheduled series canceled with the Phillies and Marlins, respectively. 

If games continue to be impacted and cases continue to rise, this weekend could be the final time we see MLB on the field in 2020.

Clayton Kershaw listed as Austin Slater's son in Wikipedia page edit

Clayton Kershaw listed as Austin Slater's son in Wikipedia page edit

Austin Slater entered Saturday's game against the Dodgers with two singles in nine career at-bats against Clayton Kershaw,.

Everything changed for the Giants right fielder in the Giants' 5-4 win over their archrival.

Slater homered off Kershaw in the third inning, and then he did it again in the fifth inning, becoming the first Giants player with two homers off the Dodgers ace in the same game.

After the game, an intrepid (presumably) Giants fan went to Slater's Wikipedia page and made a change.

Yes, you interpreted that correctly. Slater is Kershaw's daddy. The edit lasted a few hours before "Son: Clayton Kershaw" was removed.

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Regardless of what his Wiki page says, it's a night Slater will never forget. Kershaw is arguably the best pitcher of the current generation, so to take him deep twice in a game has to be a career highlight for the 27-year-old.

Following Saturday's game, Slater now is hitting .310/.394/.586 with two homers and three RBI in 29 at-bats over 10 games.

[RELATED: Pence feels awful for spoiling Cueto's no-hit bid]

Slater's performance against Kershaw and the Dodgers makes the case that he should play more consistently. But that up to first-year Giants manager Gabe Kapler.

Our recommendation? Put Kershaw's daddy in the lineup as much as possible.

Giants' Hunter Pence feels awful for spoiling Johnny Cueto's no-hit bid

Giants' Hunter Pence feels awful for spoiling Johnny Cueto's no-hit bid

Hunter Pence said he was mad and that he felt terrible. The disappointment was still clear in his eyes as the Giants left fielder sat down for a Zoom call with reporters, and a few minutes in, he said a misplay in left field had made him feel sick to his stomach. 

This, it should be noted, all came after the Giants won 5-4 at Dodger Stadium. But this was one of the stranger wins in recent memory. 

There was so much to celebrate. Austin Slater homered off Clayton Kershaw twice, Mike Yastrzemski did once, Johnny Cueto pitched well, and the bullpen was brilliant in locking up a two-hitter, just the ninth for the Giants at Dodger Stadium since the teams moved west. 

But the Giants shouldn't have had to hold on in the first place. Manager Gabe Kapler let Cueto face Justin Turner with two on and a blister hobbling him on the mound. Turner hit a three-run homer, and this all came a few minutes after Pence completely lost a fly ball to left, costing Cueto and the bullpen a shot at a no-hitter and starting the four-run rally. The ball dropped far behind his outstretched arms as Kiké Hernandez cruised into third for the first hit of the night to lead off the sixth. 

"Johnny had the magic going, the rhythm going, had everything working, it was a special night that doesn't always come around and you could just feel it," Pence said. "To spoil that feels awful ... he deserves better."

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Cueto still got the win, and the Giants did, too. Some saves are worth more than others, and when Trevor Gott made it through the ninth for the second victory of this tough trip, he saved a teammate and the coaching staff from some serious pain. 

Pence was still feeling it afterward. Kapler was able to shake it off, because he pushed all the right buttons with his lineup against Kershaw -- the Giants hit three homers off him for the first time in 50 tries -- and because of his management of the bullpen. 

It was only that sixth inning that was precarious, but the trouble really started at the end of the fifth. Cueto has a blister on his right big toe and he hobbled off the field after the final out of the fifth. With one on in the sixth, he got Mookie Betts to pop up and limped off the mound as he tried to cover his position. 

Kapler and trainer Dave Groeschner came out to check on Cueto, who threw some warm-up pitches and said he was good to go. But he walked Cody Bellinger, missing badly on ball four, and then hung a curveball to Justin Turner that was smashed into the seats for a three-run shot. 

"I thought Johnny was the right guy," Kapler said, noting that the injury was not one that could lead to long-term issues. "He certainly let us know that he wanted that opportunity. He had earned it. He was the right man for the job."

There's context here, and it's why the decision was so interesting. The Giants have been extremely cautious with their starting pitchers through two weeks, and Cueto himself complained publicly after getting a quick hook at Dodger Stadium 16 days ago. But Kapler was always planning to ramp his starters up to a more normal workload, and on this night he felt that Turner was Cueto's batter. 

It backfired, but the Giants held on, with Tony Watson, Tyler Rogers and Gott picking up where Cueto left off. They had a lead in large part thanks to Slater, the first Giant to homer off Kershaw twice in one game. 

Those early blasts partially obscured what Cueto was doing, but Pence certainly was paying attention. He has been a part of no-hitters before and made a play that once saved one for Tim Lincecum, which is why he felt so awful as he stood there in the sixth and thought about his mistake. 

[RELATED: Luciano will be No. 1 prospect in 2022, analyst predicts]

This was a win, but Cueto could have taken a shot at more. 

"That's part of the game," Cueto said through interpreter Erwin Higueros. "My teammate just lost a baseball and those things happen. It's part of the game."