Cubs: What is the point of the 60 man player pool if it’s not being used?
Chicago Cubs: What is the point of the pool?
All that being said, let’s try and look at the facts of the matter and gain some insight into what MLB thought when they created this 60 man player pool for the 2020 season. The player pool was created for a couple of reasons, most importantly to provide help and fresh (and healthy) bodies for the big league clubs. In a shortened schedule with a restart, it was inevitable that there would be injuries, namely to pitchers. This has happened, so the foresight was prescient and appropriate here.
It was also inevitable that players would test positive with Covid-19 and be quarantined or kept out of games, thus necessitating a trip to the IL and a replacement. This one hasn’t quite materialized in the way most fans thought it would. Instead, we’ve had postponements. And then more postponements, when a new set of teams fly in. More on that later.
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The third reason behind these player pools sequestered in alternate locations is to give some of the best prospects for each team in baseball, some much-needed baseball time. You don’t want your best prospects losing an entire year of development. So the idea was that some of them could be kept at this other location to have them workout, play, see live pitching, and be around top organizational scouts/coaches in the hopes a whole year of progress wasn’t lost.
If you’ve been reading about the Cubs workouts in South Bend, you may have found it interesting that the “taxi” squad there doesn’t even have enough players to play a simulated game because of the large number of pitchers and not as large group of position players. While they’ve been busy doing other things and working out, it’s not quite the same as a minor league schedule full of games. But hey, at least it’s something and fulfilling one of the three reasons behind the player pool.