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Minor League Ball Gameday, Tuesday, March 31

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Kris Bryant in the outfield
Kris Bryant in the outfield
Allan Henry, USA Today

Good afternoon baseball fans and prospect watchers. Welcome to your regularly scheduled Minor League Ball Gameday thread.

Items for consideration and discussion for this fine Tuesday:

****The Cubs sent Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Addison Russell to the minors yesterday. The Baez and Russell situations are completely understandable: Russell has no Triple-A experience while Baez has apparently decided that the strike zone is a myth. The Bryant thing is obviously due to service time considerations and the MLBPA is not happy about that, threatening litigation or filing of a grievance.

What the Cubs did here is perfectly logical and within the CBA rules. It does increase the chance that I'll get to see Bryant play in person in Des Moines, so on a purely selfish motivation I'm not sad to see it happen. You can bet that the whole Super Two service time issue will come up as a bargaining chip in the next CBA negotiations. Scott Boras is mad about it but you'd expect him to be.

****Alex Hall at AthleticsNation points out that the MLBPA has always emphasized that baseball is a business when it suits them to do so, even when it hurts the feelings of fans or the interests of minor league and amateur players.

I usually take the side of labor in such disputes but personally I can't empathize with the union on this or take their protestations that it is unfair to the game or the fans for Bryant to spend three weeks in Iowa seriously. This is no more or less ethical than anything else that goes on in the business side of baseball.

If the MLBPA doesn't like it, negotiate it in the next CBA and give the owners something they will want in exchange for changing the super two rules. I'm sure that together the owners and the union can find some way to divert more money away from amateur bonuses to make up the difference.

****The Baez situation is quite interesting and I will write up something about him for later this week.

****Eric Stephen at TrueBlueLA runs down the difficult decisions the Dodgers need to make cutting down to 25 men.

****Jesse Lund at TwinkieTown asks, How do the Minnesota Twins use statistical analysis?