SEATTLE -- Nine weeks after shutting down activity in their Spring Training complex due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mariners reopened the doors to their Peoria, Ariz., facility on Tuesday for a small group of players to begin working out individually.
The club has not yet reopened its facilities at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
Nine players who live in the Phoenix area were expected to take advantage of the limited return policy, with those players first required to complete an at-home questionnaire about their health situation and then be screened and temperature checked by the team’s medical staff once they arrived at the facility.
Tuesday’s session was primarily a trial run, but players will be allowed to work out in groups of three for two-hour windows each day going forward, complying with the current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.
No organized team workouts will be allowed at this point, but players can work on their own with some staff supervision. Pitchers will be allowed to play catch, work on their throwing programs and eventually throw off the bullpen mounds, but they will be monitored to keep their volume and intensity at more of a winter workout level than a ramped-up Spring Training approach for now.
Position players can play catch and hit off tees and in the cage, but they, too, will be limited to situations where social distancing is maintained.
General manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais are not among the limited staff on hand, which for now consists only of coaches or staffers who live in the Peoria area, such as strength and conditioning coordinator James Clifford.
The Peoria complex has been closed since March 19, when the Mariners decided to send all players and staff members to their offseason homes rather than continue conducting limited workouts for the 10-12 players who were still using the Arizona facility after Major League Baseball halted Spring Training.
As the MLB season remains on hold, the Mariners are among a group of teams reopening facilities for players to use for individual workouts.