After more than three months off due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ journey that they are hoping leads back to the World Series in 2020 officially began on Friday.
The Dodgers are expected to open up the regular season against the San Francisco Giants on July 23, leaving only a few weeks to get prepared and in game shape. They held their first official team workout at Dodger Stadium on Friday and manager Dave Roberts said they will be beginning their intrasquad Summer Camp scrimmages this week.
However, Roberts also revealed that there are a handful of players not yet in camp, but he did not specify why. That theme carried over into the Dodgers’ second day of Spring Training 2.0 workouts.
“There were players for various reasons that didn’t show up [Friday] and potentially won’t be here [Saturday], but I’m just not at liberty to disclose who and for what particular reason,” Roberts said.
Under Major League Baseball’s protocol, teams are not at liberty to announce if any of their players are dealing with coronavirus, which could be the reason some Dodgers players were not yet in camp. There are significant travel restrictions in place across the country as well, so that could also have something to do with the absences.
The Dodgers are allowed to have a pool of 60 players in Summer Camp that will be eligible to play in the 2020 season. They have already announced 51 of those players, and reportedly added AJ Ramos and Devin Mann over the past two days.
Whether the Dodgers fill their player pool or not remains to be seen, and Roberts also didn’t detail how many from that group are cleared to work out. “I don’t know the exact number. I know today we have two waves of pitchers and two waves of position players,” he said.
“I don’t have an exact number, but certainly it’s enough to get a lot of work in and get through a day of baseball.”
Dodgers weren’t expecting players opting out of 2020 season
A handful of MLB players have already decided to opt-out of playing the 2020 season due to health concerns. The Dodgers would respect and support any of their players that decide to do that, but initially weren’t anticipating any to take such action.
“Right now, we’re good with that. Again, I haven’t seen everybody yet, so that’s their story if somebody decides to,” Roberts said.
“But we’re having talks with people as far as health, what they feel about putting themselves in a potential situation they don’t feel comfortable with. These conversations are going on daily. If it does come to that (an opt out), we’re going to support that individual.”
The Dodgers have some players with health issues and others with young children or pregnant wives, giving them legitimate reasons to opt-out if they decide to.
Despite Roberts adding that at present time he was not expecting a player to opt out, that changed hours after his remarks as David Price announced he would not play the 2020 season.
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