The coronavirus pandemic, and some ugly disagreements between MLB and the Players Association, made sure that there wasn’t a Minor League season in 2020. And, despite the fact that the 2020 MLB campaign took place under severe health protocols, the start of the 2021 MiLB year will be delayed, according to Baseball America.
While Spring Training is expected to begin on time, the start of the Minor League season at Double-A and Class-A will be delayed. MLB sent a memo to MiLB teams this week, letting them know that the aforementioned levels’ seasons won’t be starting on time.
The reason behind the decision has to do with logistics. MLB doesn’t want too many people at each team’s camp, so they told minor league teams that the Spring Training for Double-A and Class-A players will not begin until MLB and Triple-A players have departed from spring training.
According to Rotoworld, the delay “will allow for more social distancing during a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the world.”
MLB doesn’t want to take any chances
This scenario will cause that even if MLB Spring Training starts on schedule, several minor leaguers wouldn’t be reporting to their sites until late March or early April, pushing back the starts of their seasons.
Of course, all these scenarios are tentative because of the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and its effects on the population and professional sports.
In 2020, the virus and a conflict between MLB and the union regarding compensation and revenue virtually erased the possibility of playing minor leagues. The more affected party was the players, especially minor leaguers at the lower levels, who struggled with income and lost valuable development time. The Yankees and Mets, like all other clubs, were hit by this situation.
By the look of things, low minors players’ year will be affected once again. The hope, however, is that this time, they can play out the season and restart their formative process.