Earlier this week, we finally learned that there will be a 2020 MLB season. That means the wheels are in motion to give us baseball this year. It also means there is some actual baseball news to report, so let’s catch up on the latest.
We Got Plans
After finalizing plans for the 2020 season this week, MLB has officially submitted a plan to the Canadian government to allow the Toronto Blue Jays to play games at home this season. At the moment, anyone entering Canada for non-essential reasons must be quarantined for two weeks upon entering the country.
Obviously, that won’t work for the nine teams that will play road games against the Blue Jays during the 60-game schedule. Thus, MLB must submit plans for how to handle teams traveling to Toronto during the season, most notably the Blue Jays.
If Canada doesn’t approve the plans, the Blue Jays will have to find another stadium to serve as their home base.
Is Someone Watching?
Right now, it’s safe to assume that fans won’t be allowed to watch games in person during the 2020 MLB season. However, the league is reportedly leaving it up to individual teams and localities to determine whether fans can enter stadiums.
Thus, some teams are already making waves with regard to hosting fans. The Rangers, for instance, are pushing to fill their new stadium to 50% capacity.
The Cubs and White Sox are both working on allowing Chicago baseball fans into stadiums while the Marlins are also known to be formulating plans to allow fans into Marlins Park. Of course, with regular-season games not starting for close to four weeks, a lot could change based on the spread of the virus in certain places.
When the baseball season begins, it will begin without pitcher Chad Bettis. The seven-year veteran announced his retirement on Thursday.
He had become a solid back-end starter with the Rockies before missing a big chunk of the 2017 season to undergo treatment for testicular cancer. He made it back from cancer but wasn’t quite the same pitcher.
He was 1-6 with a 6.08 ERA last year while also dealing with a hip problem. Bettis had signed a minor league deal with the Yankees but won’t return to the mound following the pandemic.
Last to Know
Lost in the shuffle of the pandemic was news that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher John Brebbia underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this month. Brebbia felt pain in his elbow the day before spring training was suspended.
He underwent platelet-rich plasma injections and stopped throwing for six weeks, only for the pain to return when he started throwing again. Brebbia has been one of the most consistent relievers in the St. Louis bullpen over the last three seasons.
He owns a career 3.14 ERA and could have figured into the team’s plans for the closer’s role this year. Instead, he’ll sit out the 2020 season and could end up missing a significant chunk of the 2021 campaign as well.
Opening the Hall
In a piece of good news, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, has officially reopened. Upstate New York has done amazing things to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, allowing the Hall to reopen.
Face masks and reservations are now required for all visitors, and, while some parts remain closed because they are considered gathering spots, the plaque gallery is open.