Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that the Triple-A season, which was scheduled to begin at the end of the first week of April, will now be delayed by at least a month – lining up with the start of the season for the rest of minor league baseball, which begins on May 4th. That start date, also, could be moved if necessary.
Alternate training sites will again be utilized for the start of the regular season in Major League Baseball. This will allow teams to have players available if and when they need to call someone up for an injury or a lack of performance before the minor league season does begin in May.
Passan further reports that the roster size isn’t set for the alternate sites, but that the expectation is that it will feature “about two dozen” players. With the alternate site starting up around the same time that minor league spring training is set to begin (or close to it) in Arizona, it would allow teams to potentially keep some guys back in Arizona for regular minor league spring training and have guys more likely to “contribute if needed” go to the alternate site.
As of this point in time there is no word on whether teams will be at the same alternate sites that they used last year, or if they will perhaps just go to their Triple-A affiliate ballpark and operate from there.
One of the things noted by Passan is that clubs hope that players and staff can be vaccinated by the time that the minor league season is set to begin. That seems to be slightly aggressive from a schedule standpoint given that young, in shape and healthy teenagers and 20-somethings are as far down the list as you can get on the “eligible for vaccination” lists right now, but it was announced earlier today by President Joe Biden that there would be enough vaccines for every adult in America by the end of May, so perhaps that hope isn’t too far off, either.