By now, word has spread to pretty much everyone that MLB has decided to postpone the start of their season.
Over the past week, the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic has been hitting the sports world hard. It started with a trickle of teams and events not allowing fans at games. But Wednesday night, after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus, things changed.
The NBA immediately suspended their season and since then, the NHL has suspended their season, NCAA March Madness has been cancelled, the College World Series has been cancelled, and MLB has postponed the start of their season.
According to multiple reports, the MLB season has been delayed two weeks initially, with the potential for further delay, depending how much the virus spreads over these next few weeks.
Spring training games are officially done, and instead of being two weeks away from Opening Day, we are now at a minimum of four weeks away from a return to baseball.
Obviously, baseball fans and sports fans everywhere are upset that they won’t have any games to watch, but the leagues don’t want to do this any more than the fans want them to. Out of pure precaution, it was necessary to do this to try to curtail the spread of this virus.
According to a statement from the Brewers, the team has an optional workout tomorrow, won’t work out again until Monday, and AFFOP has been closed to the public.
The big question surrounding teams like the Brewers now, is what kind of impact will this have on them?
Potential Brewers Roster Impact
Not having the final two weeks of spring training games makes things tough for everyone on the roster. With zero certainty as to what to do now that there’s no more spring training and the season pushed back, Brewers starter Brett Anderson tweeted what was on most of our minds:
For the fringe players trying to make a push, they have no more time to impress the coaching staff and force their way onto the roster. For the veterans like Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich, they got very little time at all to play in spring games to get themselves prepared for the season. Braun only had one game with three at-bats under his belt.
Pitchers will have to continue to ramp up and be ready for whenever the season starts, but they will be unable to do so in game settings, which makes things difficult.
This also doesn’t help players like Luis Urias coming back from injury. He was slated for his Cactus League debut today, but now that the games have been cancelled, he won’t get any games in before the regular season begins. He can still face Brewers pitchers in bullpen sessions, but that’s not the same as a game situation. Without getting those at-bats that he needs, Urias is likely now ticketed for Triple-A to start the season with zero chance of competing with Orlando Arcia for the roster spot.
With these cancellations, the Brewers only have to go on what they’ve already seen from these players and make decisions for their roster and continue to make sure everyone will be ready when the season starts. The final two weeks of spring training are when more of the regulars play and make a final tuneup before the season begins. Without that, most players in baseball will likely get off to a sluggish start whenever the season does begin.
This pandemic is clearly bigger than sports, and as much as we’re all going to hate not having our baseball or our March Madness, this is all in the best interest of everyone.
Just make sure to wash your hands, follow the guidelines and advice of medical experts, the CDC, the WHO, and hopefully this virus can get contained and we can get back to baseball soon.