Impact of coronavirus on the Giants and spring training
By Dzintars Grinfelds
MLB delayed Opening Day amid spread of the coronavirus. How does that impact the San Francisco Giants as they prepare for the 2020 season?
Major League Baseball announced on Thursday afternoon that all baseball operations were to be suspended “at least two weeks” to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. With that, San Francisco Giants spring training came to an abrupt halt.
That decision shut down any and all spring training games, while Opening Day and the 2020 season would be delayed as well.
Also effected is the 2020 World Baseball Classic, as the qualifier games that were set to be played in Tucson, AZ are postponed indefinitely as well while MLB decides how to approach the coronavirus outbreak.
Fans may want to treat the MLB’s initial release as they would a player’s injury update. That is to say not everything will be fixed and ready to go in two weeks, but rather the next update will come within that two-week window.
Baseball fans should be prepared for the suspension of operations to last further into April. But for now, we await word from MLB on the next steps.
So how do the Giants go about preparing for the 2020 season?
Without knowing if the two-week halt is taken out of the spring training schedule or if it pushes all games including spring and regular season games back, players will need to stay prepared to pick up the bats and gloves and get back into the groove at some time in the future.
Unfortunately, going from no game action at all to stepping into the batter’s box is easier said than done. Baseball has rehab assignments and spring training for players to get their timing back and dust off their skills.
So though there are no games being played at the moment, players have the option to continue workouts if they wish.
How much time will MLB allot to the clubs to continue preparing for a potentially shortened season?
Decisions on how spring training and exhibition games are scheduled will have direct impacts on how players need to get game ready and perform in a shortened amount of time.
Additionally, how will a pause in the action effect on-field performance of players, especially with more cuts looming? The Giants have already gone through one round of reassignments, including sending top catching prospect Joey Bart to the minors.
But with players like Billy Hamilton vying for a starting spot and Darin Ruf tearing things up in spring, it will be interesting to see how the Giants go about making their decisions with less chances to see their roster in action.
For now, we only speculate at when our favorite pastime returns and how the season will play out. Until then, stay safe.