A whiff of danger follows the development of starting pitchers. Position players such as Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. can be thrown into everyday roles at age 21 without fear of physical harm. Such are the unique demands of throwing a baseball competitively that young pitchers are developed slowly.
This year the danger in the air around them is particularly acute. All 30 teams face a great unknown: How do you transition pitchers from the shortest season in history to a full season? As an example, using Sixto Sánchez of Miami, how can you ask a 22-year-old pitcher who throws 98.