Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The minor leagues were canceled entirely in 2020, and the good news is that they’ll return to action in 2021. However, we’ll have to wait slightly longer than usual.
MLB announced Tuesday that the Triple-A season will be delayed by a month, and you can read more details at their official site or via Jeff Passan of ESPN. The A-ball and Double-A levels were already set to begin in early May, so now Triple-A will join them in that regard and the whole farm system will get going around the same time.
However, this news does not mean the Triple-A campaign is being shortened. It will simply be shifted back and extend deeper into September than normal, making up for the lost games in April.
With the coronavirus vaccines making progress against the pandemic, the league hopes that holding off minor league games a little longer can help increase the safety of playing a season and also having as many fans as possible in attendance.
Note that this move has no effect on the MLB schedule, which will still open April 1 as planned.
In addition to the Triple-A delay, the league also announced that alternate camp sites will return in some capacity in 2021, though the exact parameters are yet undetermined. The A’s camp was in San Jose last summer but might be in Stockton this year, reports insider Martin Gallegos, and there are rumors it might involve scrimmages against Giants minor leaguers in April.
For now, the one thing we know for sure is that we won’t get any new regular season game highlights from Finn the Bat Dog and the Las Vegas Aviators until May.
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- Today in Baseball History
- Spring Game #3: Buddy Reed Show continues with game-winning homer
- Community Prospect List #20: Buddy Reed has elite defense but must prove bat
Another day, another Buddy highlight
Buddy's agenda:— Oakland A's (@Athletics) March 2, 2021
Tuesday: HR pic.twitter.com/trKkv10qLL
Romero deserves more press than he gets, and you’d have to think we’re virtually guaranteed to see him in Oakland sometime in 2021
Miguel Romero strikes out three batters in a scoreless third. He's a guy to watch this year. Power fastball, wipeout slider and he's now added a changeup to his arsenal.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 2, 2021
Murphy on the mend
Sean Murphy continues ramping up in camp. He’s now able to hit and catch. Still a while away from playing in games, but he’s progressing well.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) March 3, 2021
... And Chappy too!
Bob Melvin says that the plan is still for Matt Chapman to play defense starting Friday. He's DHing today.— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) March 3, 2021
#Athletics listing these probable pitchers for upcoming games in their notes:— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) March 3, 2021
Today: Irvin, Weems, Jiménez, Acevedo, Angulo, Bracewell
Fri: Kaprielian, Smith, Kolarek
Sat: Jefferies, Diekman
Best of Twitter
This is significant news even outside of sports
This would lead to belief that much larger crowds can be allowed into pro sporting events. https://t.co/wExDT3k7PJ— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) March 2, 2021
Shohei Ohtani will get his first start of the spring as a pitcher on Friday against the A's.— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) March 2, 2021
More about Andrus and Chapman
Elvis Andrus had a lot of nice things to say about Matt Chapman -- and how he reminds him of young Adrian Beltre.— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) March 2, 2021
More on how Andrus elevates the A's this year: https://t.co/Y1spX4hRmp pic.twitter.com/drS1epn836
... Andrus in video form
Astros had a ton of pitching injuries in 2020, and already have their first of 2021
Astros LHP Framber Valdez has a fractured left ring finger, GM James Click said. Valdez injured the finger yesterday during his start vs. the Mets in Port St. Lucie after being struck by a comebacker to the mound in first inning. Unknown how long he’ll be out.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 3, 2021
Dyson back in KC after four seasons away on four other teams
Dyson deal with Royals is for $1.5M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 3, 2021
Gio heads home to Florida
Per sources Marlins are in agreement with Free Agent LHP Gio Gonzalez. It will be a non roster invitation. Gio is a South Florida native & resident, 13 year big league veteran. Will provide rotation depth. Nice add for Miami.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) March 3, 2021
The new Face of Chicago
The Cubs have signed infielder Eric Sogard to a minor league deal, per a source.— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) March 3, 2021
Baseball is more fun with Cespedes in it!
... Don’t get excited though
The A’s weren’t at the Céspedes workout, FWIW https://t.co/UWjYatAsmR— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) March 3, 2021
At least that was a solid guess, better than some contestants have done with past sports questions, but still an accurate analysis by Ben (actually I used to ask this question at my pub trivia nights!)