Jack Etkin, Forbes.com: Past Provides Future Hints of Handling Shortened Season


By Jack Etkin/Forbes.com

Rockies players can no longer work out at the team’s Salt River Fields complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., the site of spring training.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which owns and operates the facility, ceased operations Wednesday because of the rapidly speading coronavirus, shutting down the complex.

The veteran Rockies players who were participating in voluntary workouts at the complex are no longer allowed to do so. While most Rockies players will go home, some may opt to go to Denver. Coors Field currently remains open for voluntary workouts based on Major League Baseball guidelines that have been sent to the clubs.

Earlier this week, Commissioner Rob Manfred said the owners’ desire is to play a full schedule of 162 games. However, that seems unlikely because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended gatherings of 50 or more people not occur until at least May 10. The actual start date is expected to be no earlier than the end of that month.

If MLB does get clearance on when the shortened season can begin, there will have to be another installment of spring training so the players, and in particular the starting pitchers, can get in shape to play games that matter. Depending on how long the players are idle, what happened in 1995 might serve as a template.

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