TEMPE, Ariz. -- Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it was suspending Spring Training, one day after it announced the delay of the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on a conference call on Friday, general manager Billy Eppler announced that the club is still working through contingency plans for the players that will stay or go.
Here are a few key questions and what we know right now:
When will the season start?
There is no official start date at this time. What we do know is that the start of the regular season will be delayed. Opening Day had been scheduled for Thursday, March 26, at Houston. The Halos’ home opener was scheduled for April 3 against Oakland.
MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. 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 qualifier games scheduled in Tucson, Ariz., were postponed indefinitely. The Freeway Series is also affected, as the game at Angel Stadium on March 21 and the two games at Dodger Stadium on March 22 and 23 are all canceled.
MLB announced on Friday that all MLB players have three options: remain in their Spring Training cities, return to their offseason home or travel to their club’s home city.
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. Minor League players will be allowed to remain at the club’s Spring Training facility, however.
How do ticket refunds work?
For fans who purchased tickets through the Angels, they should contact their individual sales representative or call (714) 4Angels to speak with the ticket office.
How might this affect the Angels once play resumes?
It works in Shohei Ohtani’s favor, as he is still not slated to return to the mound until mid-May, though he now will miss less time as a two-way player. Right-hander Griffin Canning is also sidelined with elbow issues and now might miss less time early in the season.
What are they saying?
“We've had numerous meetings already with our player personnel, as well as our Minor League personnel, about the mindfulness and the good hygiene and the social distancing efforts. So really, in the simplest way, it's just boiling it down to what's needed vs. what's wanted and having that discipline to do things out of necessity and don't do things out of want, and just being mindful for yourself and also for your neighbor.” -- Eppler