Last week we learned that instructional league planning was in process for the Cincinnati Reds. Their hope was to line up games for the guys to play in to help give them feedback in real-time against outside competition – but they also understood that some teams may prefer to keep things closed off to the outside and would potentially just keep things to intrasquad-like situations.
Josh Norris of Baseball America is reporting this morning that all of the teams in Arizona have agreed to play games against one another. Not every team has the same length of a schedule, and the Cincinnati Reds are one of the teams that is working with a slightly shorter range of games than some others.
Cincinnati will play games between October 12th and October 31st. Some teams start a little bit sooner – some as early as October 5th, and some will play games as late as November 14th. Only one organization in Arizona is fielding two teams, the San Francisco Giants. I’ve reached out to the Reds organization to try and find out a few more pieces of information on their roster – but I have not yet heard back on that front. When I do, I’ll be sure to update the site to reflect what I was able to learn.
For the players, this is going to be a bit of a different experience. Instructional league has generally been unpaid in the past – though some expenses were covered by the organizations – but this year the players will get paid based on the level they would have been assigned to had 2020 been a normal year.
Also unlike the past, where it wasn’t needed, COVID-19 testing will take place much like it was handled at the alternate roster site facilities. Each team had to submit a health and safety plan that needed to be approved. That plan needed to have information laid out for housing and food services for the players, how many will be in a facility at once, and a few other details that are set up to try and keep everyone healthy for the duration of instructional league.