To the dismay of baseball fans around the world, the MLB is shutting spring training down and delaying the start of the regular season due to the coronavirus outbreak. They follow suit of the NBA, NHL, MLS, NCAA, and others in suspending play.
However, the delay to the season will actually benefit the New York Yankees.
Going into today (3/12), the Yankees were getting killed again with injuries. Aaron Judge has a stress fracture on his right rib that he is slowly getting healed. Gary Sanchez has been sick the last week with a strong case of the flu, and Giancarlo Stanton has been dealing with a calf strain.
On the pitching side of things, Zack Britton got drilled by a comebacker on Wednesday in the wrist. Fortunately, he suffered just a deep bruise and will eventually be ok. However, James Paxton is still on the mend from surgery, removing a back cyst.
The suspension could give the team a chance to be almost completely healthy once Opening Day comes. Now, the season could begin in the middle of April, or it could even be early summer once we get going. The longer it is until the season starts, the more time players will need to get ready.
Although players will stay at camp, they still need more at-bats, especially against other pitchers. So I would assume that the league would eventually schedule scrimmages or exhibitions of some type once there is a set Opening Day.
But for right now, all we can do is wait everything out. Hopefully, the suspensions of all leagues won’t last particularly long. However, that’s all dependent on how healthy the nation is as a whole, and whether public officials believe it is safe to begin to play again.