It’s July 1, and the MLB’s “Spring Training” is finally kicking off. Feels weird right? I think pretty much everything that happens during this year’s MLB season is going to feel weird though, so it’s time for us to just accept that this is the “new normal” for this year and enjoy whatever we get out of it. Last week I broke down what the season would look like, so I felt like this week would be a good time to take a look at what we can expect for the preseason.
The MLB’s “Spring Training” starts today with league-wide COVID tests for all of the staff and players. As long as everyone doesn’t test positive, players will begin their actual team training on July 3. Unlike typical years where all of the teams are headed to Arizona or Florida, all of the summer training camps will be held in the team’s home ballpark to limit travel. A typical day will consists of pitchers throwing bullpens and hitters taking batting practice. As the pitchers work up their arms, they will eventually throwing live BP to the hitters. The only difference from a normal training camp is that there will be far fewer fields and mounds to use, so the daily training will be staggered. The MLB season begins on July 24, so each team will get in about three weeks of training.
The majority of 2020’s exhibition games will be intrasquad. These games will have MLB umpires overseeing them like traditional Spring Training games would. At the end of this year’s summer camps, the teams can play three real exhibition games against either a regional opponent or the team that they will face in their opening series of the season. For example, the Yankees can either scrimmage against the Mets or the Nationals.
Players temperatures will be taken every day before entering the facility. If the temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees, they will be tested for COVID and sent home immediately. Players will also be asked to take their temperatures before coming to the ballpark, and if they have a fever, they will not be allowed to come in. Aside from the daily temperature checks, players will also be required to take a COVID test every other day.
Players Opting Out of the Season
All players have the ability to opt out of the season without pay. To date, Ian Desmond of the Rockies, Mike Leake of the Diamondbacks, and Ryan Zimmerman/Joe Ross of the Nationals have all opted out of the 2020 season citing high risk family members as a concern. There is a belief that there will be a significant increase of the number of players that choose to opt out as the beginning of the season approaches especially if cases begin to rise around the league and country.
If you have any questions about the MLB’s 2020 season plan leave them in the comments below!
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