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Sherman relayed that using a designated hitter universally is “in part to protect pitchers who will have to ramp up to pitch in a shortened second spring.”
“The best hope is that training will open in June in a combination of home parks and spring training sites, last three weeks and a regular season will open about July 1. The current plan calls for either 78 or 82 games, regional play by which teams play exclusively in their division and their crossover division (thus, AL East vs. NL East) to limit travel and both the rosters and the playoffs are expanded—I heard a strong possibility of 30 players available daily with a 20-player taxi squad staying ready if needed and a postseason of 14 teams rather than 10.”
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported MLB’s proposed plan.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan also provided context, noting “an optimistic” timetable of spring training restarting June 10 and games beginning July 1:
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Went on @GetUpESPN this morning to talk about the latest on how baseball could proceed as it tries to return and why playing in home stadiums has become the preferred option of many in the game.
For more details, check out the news story at ESPN dot com: https://t.co/fHiasxlS1A https://t.co/v6hT4WjudT
The Athletic’s Molly Knight reported earlier Sunday the results of COVID-19 antibody tests administered on MLB employees:
The Athletic MLB @TheAthleticMLB
A Stanford study that tested 5,603 MLB employees for COVID-19 antibodies found a positive rate of 0.7%, lower than expected. Angels, Mets and Yankees employees had the highest rates, though still lower than those counties overall. More from @molly_knight: https://t.co/CHXKulbvF6
Former MLB utility man Trevor Plouffe has been vocal about the fluid situation:
The 2020 season was originally scheduled to begin March 26, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to cancel spring training and delay Opening Day on March 12.
MLB agreed to allow all 30 clubs the option to provide fans ticket refunds for postponed games.