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FAQ: How coronavirus impacts Dodgers, MLB

@kengurnick
March 13, 2020

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Friday he was still gathering information on which of his players will remain in Arizona and which will go to Los Angeles. After an in-person meeting with MLB Players Association officials in Arizona, Major League Baseball announced that

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Friday he was still gathering information on which of his players will remain in Arizona and which will go to Los Angeles.

After an in-person meeting with MLB Players Association officials in Arizona, Major League Baseball announced that Spring Training camps will be suspended, effective immediately. Major League players can elect to return home, remain in their Spring Training cities, or return to their club’s home city. This announcement came one day after MLB announced that Spring Training games had been canceled and the start of the regular season delayed by at least two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“From our standpoint, it’s about facilitating whatever our guys choose to do and support them the best that we can as we continue to learn more,” said Friedman. “It’s certainly unprecedented. There aren’t a lot of questions we can answer right now, but we are setting up channels of communication to keep people posted as we learn more. We’re doing the best we can with the information we have.”

Opening Day delayed at least 2 weeks; Spring Training games cancelled

Here are some key questions and answers, based on available information.

When will the season start?
There is no official start date for the season at this time. What we do know is that the start of the season will be delayed at least two weeks. Opening Day had been scheduled for Thursday, March 26.

MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to all 30 clubs in the coming days.

How will the schedule change to accommodate the late start?
According to the release sent by MLB, the league and teams have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular-season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.

What’s going to happen with the rest of Spring Training?
Forthcoming Spring Training games were canceled as of 1 p.m. PT on Thursday, and 2020 World Baseball Classic qualifying games scheduled in Tucson, Ariz., were postponed indefinitely.

What about Minor League Baseball?
Minor League Baseball announced Thursday that the start of its regular season, originally scheduled for April 9, will be delayed indefinitely.

Have any Dodgers players or staff been tested for coronavirus?
No, according to Friedman.

Will the Dodgers continue training at Camelback Ranch?
The facility will remain open for players to continue workouts on an optional basis to stay in shape and prepare for the eventual opening of the season, with staff present to facilitate that. Players also can work out at Dodger Stadium, or go to their offseason homes.

Are most of the Dodgers expected to remain in Arizona?
For logistical reasons, Friedman said he would guess most will remain in Arizona until next Saturday, the day the club was scheduled to break camp, because of existing hotel and rental accommodations. But he stressed that information was still being gathered.

How will the season resume and how will the delay affect the postseason?
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on Thursday said it’s his belief that when the season opens, it will pick up at that point on the existing schedule to avoid a logistical nightmare of rescheduling venues.

What is the biggest challenge for a player in the current situation?
Roberts said worry for the health and well-being of family members, as well as the logistics of securing accommodations into April, are the concerns he hears most from players. Friedman said there are a lot of questions from players about the unknowns. “We’re all in this together,” Friedman said.

How will Roberts handle pitcher workload during the break?
It varies depending on whether the pitcher is a starter or reliever. Friedman said the coaching staff is working on a plan for starting pitchers, in particular, because of the nuances of building up innings durability without knowing when the season will start.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.