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In the face of the mounting threat from COVID-19, the Coronavirus, Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball have announced that they’re postponing the start of the 2020 season for at least two weeks.
While baseball is important in all of our lives (I assume as much if you’re reading this), it is, of course, the responsible thing to do to ensure that we don’t create environments that allow people, unsuspecting or otherwise, to pass the virus along to folks packed closely together at a sporting event.
It’s important to note that there is no real blueprint for something like this. Players are likely going to be able to stay at their teams’ facilities and work out. But others might be sent home, especially if they start to display symptoms.
There is a huge question mark hanging over the heads of minor league players. While major leaguers are likely better off than their minor league counterparts and will be able to withstand not getting paid, minor leaguers only get a per-diem and won’t be paid until after the season starts. Some teams, like the Cubs, are talking about ways to support their minor leaguers, possibly providing meals to their players despite shutting down their minor league complex.
This situation is going to be very fluid. The clubs will be monitoring the situation and MLB will likely adapt the schedule and make decisions on any other steps to be taken as things develop.
For me, it’s led to me canceling my scheduled trip to Dunedin for Easter Weekend. I’ll try to reschedule for July when, hopefully, this whole thing will be behind us and I’ll be able to catch both the GCL and FSL in action.
The Blue Jays did play a couple of games today, demolishing the Canadian Junior National Team 22-6. Rowdy Tellez hit a home run in the third inning and Kevin Vicuna went deep, going 2/4 with four RBI. Orelvis Martinez hit a triple and was 2/4 with four RBI and two runs while Jake Brodt was 1/1 with a walk and a home run and Gabriel Moreno was 2/3 with a home run, two RBI and three runs.
Demi Orimoloye, one of eight Canadians in the Blue Jays’ system to play, hit two doubles, going 2/3 with a walk and an RBI, scoring three times. J-C Masson, a 2019 draftee from Quebec who didn’t play in minor league action was also 2/3 with a run and Dasan Brown was 1/3. Tanner Kirwer was 1/1 with two walks and a run.
On the mound, Jordan Romano started, striking out two in the first with two hits against. Non-Canadians Wilmer Font, Julian Merryweather, Jon Harris, Connor Overton and Marcus Reyes also got into the game while Canadians Alex Nolan (1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K), Curtis Taylor (2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K) and Will McAffer (1 IP, 1 BB) also pitched.
In the Grapefruit League game that the Blue Jays played against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Jays won 7-5. Trent Thornton allowed three runs on seven hits (including a home run) with two strikeouts in three innings and Marc Rzepcynski pitched a scoreless fourth. Nate Pearson got the win, tossing two innings and allowing two hits and a run, walking one and striking out two while Sean Reid-Foley allowed a hit and a walk but struck out one in the seventh. Justin Miller allowed a solo home run and struck out one in the eighth and Kirby Snead struck out two, giving up a hit in the ninth for the save.
Vladimir Guerrero hit his third home run of the spring, going 1/2 with the solo shot while Bo Bichette his his fourth homer, going 1/3. Forrest Wall started in left and was 2/2 with an RBI while Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Santiago Espinal had a double each. Brock Lundquist drove in two runs with a single, going 1/1.
The Blue Jays finish the Grapefruit League schedule with a 12-6 record.
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