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FAQ: How coronavirus impacts Braves, MLB

@mlbbowman
March 12, 2020

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- Major League Baseball has decided to cancel Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. After this announcement was made on Thursday afternoon, the Braves issued

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- Major League Baseball has decided to cancel Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.

After this announcement was made on Thursday afternoon, the Braves issued this statement:

“While the Braves are disappointed to cut our regular spring training schedule short, the health and safety of our fans, employees, players and the community at large has been, and always will be, a priority for us.”

Below is a list of questions aimed toward helping you understand how the Braves will handle various consequences of this decision, including player workouts and ticket refunds.

When will the season start?
There is no official start date for the regular 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 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 office 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 cancelled as of 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, and 2020 World Baseball Classic qualifying games scheduled in Tucson, Ariz., were postponed indefinitely.

What about Spring Training tickets?
The Braves' refund policy for these tickets can be found here.

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

Where will players go?
The plan is for the Braves’ players to continue working out at their Spring Training facility in North Port. Team officials are still discussing how to best keep the players prepared. One particular area of interest is how to handle the starting pitchers, most of whom are already conditioned to throw at least five innings. Decisions about whether to keep them at this pace or back them down could influence how these pitchers feel during the latter part of the regular season.

I have tickets to the home opener, what does this mean for me?
The Braves will announce their ticket policy for affected games at a later date.

How might this affect my team once play resumes?
Cole Hamels (left shoulder inflammation) might now be available for a higher percentage of the regular season. The Braves have not targeted when Hamels might be available, but there has been thoughts that he would be sidelined through at least the first half of May.

What are they saying?
“None of us have been through anything like this. It’s going to be new territory for all of us.” -- Braves manager Brian Snitker

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.