The Los Angeles Dodgers reported to Dodger Stadium for Summer Camp last week as they get set to open up the 2020 season on July 23, reportedly taking on the rival San Francisco Giants.
While the expectation is that the season will be played, there is plenty of uncertainty hovering over the sport due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which remains prevalent in many major cities throughout the country.
As the team begins its Spring Training 2.0 workouts, the focus has shifted back to the field for the first time in months. Despite that, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts still believes the coronavirus and keeping players healthy will be their biggest hurdle this season.
“The biggest concern is we don’t know who our 30 is going to be. In the sense of it’s not a typical situation where you’re just talking about physical health,” Roberts said. “Now there’s another variable that we can’t predict.
“We have guys we kind of can see will start the season or break camp with us, but there’s another variable that we can’t account for. That uncertainty is weighed on me and us probably the most.”
The Dodgers can have up to 60 players in their player pool for the season, with the Opening Day roster containing 30 of them. A handful of players will spend the season working out at USC and the organization’s High-A Rancho Cucamonga facility in case they are needed at some point.
“That’s why you have the guys we have in camp and then the secondary site. That’s part of the unknown,” Roberts said. “Every organization is having to go through that. The ramp up, I’m very confident in starting pitchers, and hitters getting their at-bats, guys in the ‘pen will be ready to go.
“But you just don’t know when someone can be infected and it can kind of change the landscape.”
L.A. has one of the best and deepest rosters in all of baseball in 2020, making them one of the favorites to win the World Series. If they can get out of the season with everyone healthy and avoid an organization-wide coronavirus outbreak, the year has to be considered a success regardless of where they finish in the standings.
In addition to potential health obstacles, the Dodgers will be without one of their top starting pitchers in 2020 as David Price announced he will be sitting out the season due to concerns for him and his family. The Dodgers are expecting all of their other players to play, although with still a few weeks until Opening Day, a lot can still change.
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