Over two months have passed since Major League Baseball put its 2020 regular season on hold due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
And though a sizable chunk of the year has been lost, there is optimism the league and Players Association can finalize a plan in the coming days that would clear the way for players to return to the field.
The hope is that the regular season can begin in early July. And even if that goal is reached, players will still need a Spring Training 2.0 to get back up to game speed.
AJ Pollock, like many of his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates, has stayed in shape during the shutdown by making use of resources available.
Pollock has benefitted from having a home gym and batting cage, and as a result doesn’t believe an extended Spring Training will be necessary for him, and argued the same for most position players, via SportsNet LA:
“I probably have a different opinion on this than most, because I’ve had a bunch of injuries. My mindset is give me four at-bats and let’s play. I think in baseball, it’s such a long process and we’re so used to doing things. We’ve got to show up to the field at 12 o’clock and we’ve got to do this and that.
“In Spring Training we have this long, drawn out process to get into things. When it comes down to it, if you keep your body in shape, a season is a grind anyway. No one is going to be feeling that great from Day 1. Obviously the pitchers are the one thing that’s a unique circumstance — I can’t really speak for them. But for a position player, I think it’s plenty of time.
“Tell everyone to make sure you’re in killer shape, play a couple games and let’s go.”
As Pollock alluded to, it will likely take pitchers longer to build back up for the regular season. Ross Stripling previously estimated he — and others — would need three Spring Training starts to feel comfortable heading into the year.
However, at least one additional Dodgers player feels the same as Pollock. Gavin Lux recently said he would need only 15-20 at-bats in Spring Training to be ready for the regular season, though acknowledging much of that is just out of eagerness to begin a 2020 campaign.
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