It has been two months since Major League Baseball and the entire sports world effectively shut down due to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With the calendar now in May and June rapidly approaching, the leagues have spent the past several weeks formulating plans that would allow them to resume their respective seasons as soon as possible.
MLB is reportedly discussing a multitude of scenarios with the hope of beginning the 2020 campaign by or during July. Whether that goal is met will depend on a number of factors, including the overall public health situation.
Another factor that must be considered is how much time players will need to ramp up for the regular season once the shutdown is lifted. Teams were approaching the final stages of Spring Training before play came to a halt.
Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Walker Buehler estimated that a three-to-four week period of Spring Training 2.0 will be necessary for players to get up to game speed, via SportsNet LA:
“I don’t think we need quite as long as the first go around, but I think three or four weeks would probably be around what most guys would say. I think regardless, we’re all going to be so excited to be out there that we’re going to be ready to go after the first week anyway.”
Ross Stripling previously opined that starting pitchers would need a minimum of three starts before the regular season begins. “Everyone is a little different but I think most pitchers would want three starts,” he told DodgerBlue.com in an exclusive interview.
“Two, three, four; or three, four, five innings. So that puts it at 15 days, at least, for a Spring Training 2.0. I think most people could be ready after that. It sounds like we might have expanded rosters.
“If you go back to the ’94-95 strike, they opened up with expanded rosters, so I think we’d be looking at a situation like that. Especially if these rumors of multiple doubleheaders a week are true. So I think most guys would want at least three starts.
“That’s going to be what takes the most time. Hitters, they only need a handful of games and they’re ready. Starting pitchers have to build up, so that’s where time is going to become a factor.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events and more!