Opening Day for the Texas Rangers and the rest of Major League Baseball is tomorrow, but for prospects their eyes and minds are turned towards their next challenge: the alternate training site.
Last season saw the creation and implementation of alternate training sites for teams as the Minor League baseball season was cancelled due to COVID-19. For the month of April, teams will once again utilize an alternate training site. These sites will host up to 28 players that are not currently active on a big league roster and will have similar rules to Spring Training.
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The idea is that with close proximity to the big league club that players can be activated and safely brought up in an expeditious manner. For the Rangers, that means their alternate site is at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. In a press release, the team has just announced their schedule for April:
However, only season members, suite-holders and sponsors will have access to the initial exhibition games. There is a potential for Dell Diamond to increase its capacity prior to the start of the Triple-A season on May 6. However, it would require a plan approved by the MLB.
In the same press release, Round Rock Express President Chris Almendarez expressed excitement in bringing baseball back to Round Rock:
“We are so excited to bring affiliated baseball back to Dell Diamond through the Rangers Alternate Training Site,” Round Rock Express President Chris Almendarez said. “We have a plan in place that initially allows for Express Season Members, sponsors and suite-holders to enjoy these Spring Training-like exhibition games but we are striving to increase our capacity leading up to Express Opening Day. With Globe Life Field in Arlington opening at 100% capacity this season, we are working with the Texas Rangers and Major League Baseball to develop a similar plan.”
Barring any setbacks, there will be a minor league season this year, and the alternate training site exhibition games are just one more way for teams to be able to prepare.
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