Buttrey plays Amir Garrett, Carlos Santana, Luke Jackson, and Gavin Lux beginning Monday at 6 p.m. ET, with games streaming live on YouTube. These are three-inning games, and each major leaguer playing in the round robin tournament will play every other player once during the regular season.
The slow start for Buttrey isn’t for lack of trying. After dropping his first four games, Buttrey sought out instruction in MLB The Show from a professional gamer. “What would I do if I was training for baseball or training in the gym? I would find the best trainer, I would find the best pitching coach, the best person to help me,” Buttrey told Maria Torres of the Los Angels Times last week.
“I’m thinking about changing the strategy from swinging at pitches in the grass to in the zone,” Buttrey joked on Instagram over the weekend.
Buttrey will have his hands full on Monday, facing two division leaders — note: yes these are video games, but without baseball, indulge us here; we will take baseball in just about any form right now — in Lux (9-3) and Garrett (8-4), the latter the winner of an MLB The Show tournament of major league players in March.
The regular season of the Players League runs through the end of April, with the top eight teams advancing to the postseason. The first two round of the postseason, in May, will be best-of-3, with the final championship round a best-of-5 series.
- Mike Petriello and Will Leitch at MLB.com drafted the best MVPs of the 2000s (there are 40 of them), with Mike Trout’s three wins picked in the top 17, including the best non-Barry Bonds MVP season in the group.
- Bobby Winkles, the college baseball Hall of Famer and longtime Arizona State coach who managed the Angels in 1973-74, died Friday at age 90, per the Associated Press.
- J.J. Cooper at Baseball America reports dire news for minor league baseball: “While most everyone involved in MiLB is cautiously optimistic publicly, the reality is it is going to be quite difficult for any MiLB team to play at all this year.”