Plenty of uncertainty remains one month past what was expected to be Opening Day of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, as the sport and world continue to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
While no one knows when the season will be able to begin, MLB is discussing a variety of different solutions and all parties involved seem committed to getting some sort of season in. The most likely scenario is teams splitting up between a few states, presumed to be Arizona and Florida and potentially Texas, to play games with fans in attendance.
That could also require players to be quarantined other than going to the field, forcing them to be away from their families for months at a time, which has drawn pushback from a few of the league’s biggest stars including Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.
Regardless, as time continues to pass and the weather continues to get warmer, MLB theoretically gets closer to returning. What that means for Minor League Baseball remains to be seen, however.
As if there wasn’t enough uncertainty surround MLB, there is even more surrounding MiLB and what type of 2020 season they will have, if any.
Dustin May, who made his MLB debut in 2019 but spent a majority of the season in the Minors, discussed the potential impact of the 2020 MiLB season being cancelled, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I think taking the whole year away would really put some guys on the edge. I feel like a lot of guys could be on the brink of making their debut this year. If the whole year gets cut back, it could throw them out of wack or potentially put them into a spot where they get down on themselves. All you’ve got to do is stay mentally strong and be ready for whatever is about happen, because nobody really knows what’s about to come.”
Something else that MLB is discussing is expanding rosters for the 2020 season since there likely will be multiple doubleheaders as week, which would allow for some top prospects and MiLB players to have a season while also making an MLB salary.
May likely would have begun the 2020 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City had operations not been suspended, but now will surely make the Dodgers’ roster as valuable pitching depth.
The future of MiLB as a whole is currently up in the air as they are reportedly nearing an agreement with MLB to reduce from 160 to 120 affiliates, which would leave some players without jobs. While that obviously would be unfortunate for all parties involved, it may be necessary given the current circumstances.
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