It’s been a long time coming, but the day is finally here that we get to see what the 2021 Minor League Baseball season looks like. The Louisville Bats, Chattanooga Lookouts, Dayton Dragons, and Daytona Tortugas all released schedules today and there are some changes to what we’ve seen in the past.

The Louisville Bats 2021 Schedule

Triple-A, unlike the other levels of the minor leagues, will begin on a normal schedule. They are having spring training alongside the Major League guys and will leave Goodyear, Arizona when the big league club does and head to Louisville. The Bats will begin their season by hosting Iowa on April 6th. The season will run through September 19th. Every series will be a 6-game series, and Monday will be the designated off day each week. Yep, every series will run Tuesday through Sunday before moving on to the next series, with one exception – a 4-game series against Nashville that begins Thursday July 15th. That seems to be built around the All-Star break for Major League Baseball. Triple-A teams are set to play 142 games during the year. You can see the full Louisville Bats schedule here.

The Chattanooga Lookouts 2021 Schedule

Double-A will begin on May 4th and will also run through September 19th. The Chattanooga Lookouts will play a 120 game schedule that begins by taking on the Rockey City Trash Pandas – owners of the best name in all of baseball. Unlike Triple-A, Double-A does not appear to have a built-in All-Star break. Starting on May the 4th they will play 6-game series that begin every Tuesday and run through Sunday before a scheduled off day on Monday. You can see the full Chattanooga Lookouts schedule here.

The Dayton Dragons 2021 Schedule

Same affiliate, new level. The Dayton Dragons will be moving up to the High-A level of the minor leagues in 2021 after spending the previous 20 years as the Reds Low-A affiliate. They, like Double-A and Low-A, will begin their season on May 4th and play 120 games. The season will open on the road against the Great Lakes Loons and like the other levels, it will run through September 19th. There is no All-Star break built into the schedule. All series will be 6-game series that begin on Tuesday and run through Sunday, with each and every Monday representing an off day. You can see the full Dayton Dragons schedule here.

The Daytona Tortugas 2021 Schedule

Same affiliate, new level, part two. The Daytona Tortugas are sticking with the Cincinnati Reds, but they will not be the organization’s Low-A team. Like the other two non-Triple-A teams, Daytona will begin their season on May 4th. The Tortugas will begin on the road against Palm Beach and their season will run for 120 games through September 19th. Each series will start on a Tuesday and run through Sunday, with each Monday representing a scheduled off day. There’s no All-Star break built into the schedule. You can see the full Daytona Tortugas schedule here.

Minor League changes

No All-Star games. No playoffs, either. It appears that whoever has the best record in the regular season is the league champion. Currently no teams have announced when tickets will go on sale, or how many will be available. This will be different for each team as each locality has different health and safety protocols that must be met for their town and city. It is, however, expected that tickets will go on sale at some point before the year begins in most places.

9 Responses

  1. Billy

    I assume there is just an overall champion for each league? No first and second halves or anything like that? I don’t really mind the six days on, one day off schedule, but it would have been nice if they’d staggered the off days across the leagues so that there would be a game or two to follow each night. Mondays will stink for minor league fans.

    Reply
    • Doug Gray

      The Triple-A West (formerly the PCL) plays Thursday through Tuesday schedules. They are off on Wednesdays all season long. This is reportedly due to it being cheaper to fly on Wednesday and there’s a lot more flying, I guess, for the “West” than the “East”. Triple-A is the only level that teams fly from one destination to the other, so if there was going to be a schedule outlier, it was going to be here. Still strange that both leagues in Triple-A aren’t on the same 6-day schedule, though, if this is being done for cheaper air travel.

      Reply
  2. MK

    Have to wonder what happens to Dragons fans. As of now they can have 1500 fans per game, which could possibly increase but they have certainly sold more season tickets than that already. That was for 72 home games now there will be 60.

    Reply
    • Doug Gray

      It’ll be interesting to see how they make things work. I imagine there’s going to be a lot of downgrading of ticket packages in order to try and make it “fair” to all season ticket holders. I’ll say this much: Glad it’s not my job to not only try and figure out what plan to go with, but to then try to navigate than plan.

      Reply
  3. BK

    The new schedule/format significantly reduces travel which was a stated objective for all of the MiLB changes and should reduce some of the grind on players. Some believe facing the same opponent 6 days in a row will better expose player weaknesses. If true, that would be a positive for player development.

    I would expect we’ll see the All-star games/playoffs return in 2022. I believe the players benefit from playoff experience and enjoy the all-star recognition.

    Reply
  4. MK

    High A has 6 all 6-game series, didn’t look at other leagues. Wonder if that makes for 6-man rotations so same pitcher doesn’t go back to back versus same team in a series.

    Reply
  5. IndyRedsFan

    At least everyone being off on Monday will give our favorite minor league writer something of a “break” each week during a long, long season.

    Doug…hope this makes your incredibly tough job a little easier.

    Reply
    • Doug Gray

      If I didn’t also cover the big league team every day, it would be a nice “light day” that maybe I could take off every so often. But since I also write about the big league team every day I’m guessing the next off day I have will be in October at some point.

      I imagine I’ll probably still have *something* minor league related to write about for Monday based off of something that happened on Sunday – though maybe in April when it’s just Louisville, that won’t always be the case. Once everyone else gets going though, odds are there will at least be something worth talking about from the Sunday games on Monday.

      Reply

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