While the delay of the 2020 season may hurt some areas of baseball, for one KC Royals pitcher, it may help them get back on track.
Fans of the KC Royals are still having to view the team through simulations and old games for now, but hopefully, soon, baseball will be back on track. There are continuing talks about when baseball will resume, but as of now, fans will still be waiting for at least a little while.
Baseball may look a bit different when it finally returns. There may not be anyone in the stadiums to watch, some rules may be changed, and some players may be in a better or worse position. Jesse Hahn is one of those who may benefit from the delayed season.
Royals fans may know Hahn’s name, but not remember much about his play. That’s because since he came to Kansas City in 2018 through a trade with the Oakland Athletics, Hahn has only pitched 4.2 innings.
During the beginning of spring training in 2018, Hahn felt some discomfort and has since been recovering from injury. Those few innings he played at the end of the 2019 season were the first major league innings he pitched since 2017.
While Hahn’s story has not been one of success since he joined the Royals organization, the team obviously has some hope that he will be able to bounce back. Hahn entered free agency over the offseason, but the Royals quickly signed him to a new one year contract on December 13, 2019.
Questions could still remain about where Hahn will actually be used. More than likely, he will see his time come from the bullpen, but the Royals have been known to move pitchers around as needed, and 2020 is no typical baseball season.
Luckily for Hahn, he still has some time to ensure that he is fully ready to go. When he returned in September of 2019 to pitch a few innings, things went about as one might expect for someone who had hardly pitched over the previous two seasons.
Over 4.2 innings, he gave up 7 runs, struck out 7, walked 6, and had an ERA of 13.50. This sample size is too small to make any judgments off of, but it’s likely not the impression Hahn wanted to make.
For Hahn, the delay in play allows him a chance to prepare even more. When coming back from injury, each player is different. Some take less time to bounce back, some more, and others never do. Hahn is keeping a positive outlook though.
In a recent article at theday.com, Mike DiMauro wrote that Hahn was remaining patient. In that article, Hahn was also seeing the time off in a more positive way.
"The (virus) time off could be a blessing,” Hahn said. “The extra time off can’t hurt. I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason.”"
Hahn may be right. While he was deemed ready to return at the end of 2019, it likely would have taken more time for him to get back into the same major league form he was in previously. Now with the extra time off, Hahn has had the chance to continue working at a pace comfortable for him, and will hopefully be able to return to Kansas City with his pitches under control.
Hahn has a chance to reignite his baseball career and having some extra time to prepare can’t be such a bad thing. Life without baseball may be difficult for some, but for Hahn, it could be what gives him a better chance once baseball returns.