MLB announced on Tuesday that every MLB team, including the SF Giants, will have an alternate site once again in 2021. However, alongside that news, the league also officially delayed the start of the Triple-A season another month, pushing its start to May. While the alternate site should give teams a chance to keep players ready for big-league action, it’s an obvious disappointment for fans who were hoping to track minor-league box scores.
The change is understandable given the continued dangers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the news came alongside president Joe Biden’s remarks that the United States should have enough vaccines for every adult in the country by the end of May, which assuming the vast majority of people take it, would make players, coaches, and other minor-league staff far safer. It could also allow minor-league teams to welcome more fans back to their ballparks, which serves as their only significant revenue source.
The SF Giants will have an alternate site in 2021.
Last season, the Giants prioritized prospects more than any other team at their alternate site. Without a minor-league campaign, the Giants’ decisions to work closely with some of their most exciting young talents. It will be interesting to see if they deploy that same strategy or prioritize upper minor-league players with the expectation that their younger prospects will play in a minor-league season later in the year.
Many joked when MLB released a minor-league schedule that was much more a pipe dream than a true set-in-stone calendar. Still, as vaccine rollout extended across the country, hopes began to increase that a season could indeed get underway as planned. However, for now, fans will have to wait at least a month longer than originally planned.