Back in January, News 25 did a feature piece on former Southern Miss Pitcher Kirk McCarty who was seemingly poised for a breakthrough season in the Cleveland Indians farm system. When that season actually begins remains to be seen.
A seventh round pick in 2017, McCarty now finds himself in the same boat as hundreds of other Minor League Baseball players, anxiously awaiting a world with baseball and without the Coronavirus.
The best-case scenario seems to be an early summer return and even that blueprint would come with several question marks.
One of those being tied directly to player compensation, which is only being covered by the Major League clubs through April 8th at least as of now.
Another question: how in the world do pitchers stay ready for something when they don’t know when to be ready? McCarty says he’s still looking for that million dollar answer. “That’s a good question. If you know the answer let me know because I don’t think anyone knows right now. We’re all trying to just sort through it and say what makes the most sense with the current situation. We’ve got guys in California and other states that have kind of locked down, it’s like what can I do? So they’ve actually recommended to us if you’ve got weighted balls that are soft, throw them into a wall. How do you stay ready for something when you don’t know when you need to be ready? Typically, we have a six-week ramp-up for spring training. The starters do. And now it’s like we’re not going to get that. We understand that. So you’ve got to stay ready in some regard. But still, it’s hard to simulate throwing to hitters. It’s hard to get that game-like feel without being in a game. So it’s definitely a challenge, but it’s kind of the situation that we’re in and we’re all working to figure it out together.”
McCarty says he planted a garden with his wife Erica during some of their isolation down time.