When Major League Baseball announced it would be temporarily suspending operations due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, teams and players were forced to quickly adjust amid a world of uncertainty.
As an emphasis was placed on physical distancing to help curb the spread, group activities at Spring Training facilities were no longer permitted. As a result, the majority of those in camp returned to their offseason homes.
While players continue to stay in shape ahead of MLB potentially announcing a plan to carry forward with the 2020 season, it became apparent that some have more resources available to them than others.
Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior realized this and revealed he is attempting to balance pitchers’ workloads based on the tools at their disposal, via Pedro Moura of The Athletic:
“You’re trying to balance those windows with what are guys’ resources,” Prior said. “That’s a variable that you don’t usually have to deal with, but we need to be able to individualize it.”
As Prior notes, not every player has been able to maintain their routines that were set during Spring Training. Some simply don’t have access to the necessary equipment that was once available to them in camp.
That hasn’t been an issue for Clayton Kershaw, who revealed he has been consistently playing catch at his home in Texas to stay sharp during the layoff.
Though, the left-hander admitted he has struggled with determining how often to throw as the wait for baseball extended into the month of May and now presumably June as well.
The substantial layoff will require a Spring Training 2.0, which will likely take place at home ballparks. However, the potential length of the ramping-up process remains unclear.
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