Spring Training Changes For MLB Health & Safety Protocols

Though there was some uncertainty as to whether Spring Training would start on time, camps officially are a go for next week after Major League Baseball and the Players Association reached an agreement on health and safety protocols.

For the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitchers and catchers are due at Camelback Ranch by Wednesday, Feb. 17, with their first official workout of camp taking place the next day.

Position players must arrive within a few days after pitchers and catchers, and the first full-squad workout will then take place Tuesday, Feb. 23. The Dodgers historically have early arrivals to Spring Training camp, but MLB prohibited such this year due to health concerns.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Spring Training will look a bit different this year as part of the health and safety protocols. It will essentially be divided into three phases, with the first round of workouts limited to individuals and small groups through Feb. 20.

Then from Feb. 21-26, larger groups and intrasquad games will be permitted. Official Spring Training games begin either Feb. 27 or 28, although contests against non-Major League teams are banned this year.

As per the health and safety protocols, Spring Training games through March 13 may be shortened to five or seven innings if both managers agree. Moreover, half-innings may be stopped before three outs if a pitcher has thrown at least 20 pitches, and pitchers may re-enter a game.

The three-batter minimum rule that was implemented last season additionally will be enforced, but not until March 14. As typically is the case, any Spring Training game may end in a tie.

Furthermore, fans will not be permitted to attend workouts and games will have a reduced attendance.

Barring any unforeseen changes, the Dodgers open their Cactus League schedule Saturday, Feb. 27, with a road matchup at Sloan Park against the Chicago Cubs. L.A. is slated to play 16 of their 30 Cactus League games at Camelback Ranch, including 15 as the designated home team.

Dodgers 2021 Spring Training schedule

The Dodgers will break camp for the exhibition Freeway Series at the end of March, with both games being played at Dodger Stadium. The complete 2021 Dodgers Spring Training schedule can be viewed here.

Opening Day of the 2021 regular season is set for April 1, which has the Dodgers playing the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

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