Los Angeles Dodgers players began reporting Wednesday to Dodger Stadium for coronavirus (COVID-19) screening in advance of Spring Training 2.0, and now are poised to hold their first official workout Friday.
The Dodgers announced a player pool that comprised of 51 players, though it reportedly grew Thursday with the signing of former All-Star relief pitcher AJ Ramos to a Minor League contract. The Dodgers’ player pool includes all members of the 40-man roster and some of the organization’s notable prospects, among others.
Major League Baseball has not yet unveiled team schedules, but at minimum the Dodgers will have just under three weeks before potentially beginning the 2020 season on July 23. At the latest, L.A. will take the field for Opening Day on July 24.
That leaves little time for players to not only prepare for the season but also to adjust to a new reality under strict health and safety protocols. The team has a workout scheduled daily through July 19.
“I think getting the guys there, understanding we have a short, quick ramp-up to get going, we really are still trying to understand all the protocols as far as if it’s got to be staggered, how staggered it has to be, pitchers versus catchers, just position players,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on a conference call.
Teams are permitted to schedule up to three exhibition games with a local opponent or whoever their Opening Series matchup is against. The Dodgers presumably could arrange an exhibition Freeway Series with the L.A. Angels.
At minimum, the team figures to stage plenty of simulated scenarios. “We really don’t know, but I do envision a lot of live batting practices,” Roberts said. “Because you can’t count on the backend of exhibition games. Intrasquads, live BPs, I think a lot of that is probably going to be had.”
Justin Turner and Alex Wood are among those to already have participate in informal workouts at Dodger Stadium, which featured artificial crowd noise being piped into the stadium speakers.
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