Well before Major League Baseball and the Players Association failed to come to an agreement, prompting commissioner Rob Manfred to move forward with imposing a 2020 regular season, it became clear teams would likely stage Spring Training 2.0 at respective home ballparks.
It did represent a shift from early scenarios that had Spring Training facilities in Arizona and Florida, as well as potentially Texas, all being discussed as options to host the 2020 season under a bubble concept.
Not only was that quickly abandoned, but just last week MLB ordered all teams to shutter facilities due to multiple coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks. So with Manfred setting a July 1 report date, players are less than a week away from beginning Spring Training 2.0.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, MLB will permit teams to play a maximum of three exhibition games during this time:
MLB told clubs today they will be permitted to schedule up to three exhibition games before the end of Spring Training 2.0. If a club is not located near any potential opponents, it can schedule games against its initial regular-season opponent in days leading to Opening Day.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 25, 2020
Opening Day of the 60-game season is set for July 23, but only for four teams. The rest of the sport is expected to begin their campaigns July 24.
The Los Angeles Dodgers know they will play each National League West opponent 10 times and are slated to also face American League West teams. Although the 2020 MLB schedule has not yet been released, the Dodgers figure to attempt making plans with the L.A. Angels.
The teams typically conclude Spring Training with an exhibition Freeway Series, which this year was scheduled for March 22-24. It was due to begin at Angel Stadium and conclude with back-to-back games at Dodger Stadium.
If they decide against playing the Angels, the Dodgers will still ensure their players receive plenty of opportunities in simulated opportunities.
“I do envision a lot of live batting practices, because you can’t count on the backend of exhibition games,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Intrasquads, live BPs, I think a lot of that is probably going to be had.”
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