Dodger Stadium and the spring training facilities at Camelback Ranch in Arizona are starting to get players back, though in limited cases.
Ken Gurnick at MLB.com on Sunday reported the two facilities are open to players “for medical and rehab purposes while strictly following MLB, local, state and CDC recommendations.”
Last week, Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register talked with baseball operations head Andrew Friedman about players using Camelback Ranch for individual workouts:
Hitters like Cody Bellinger and Kiké Hernandez have worked with hitting coach Brant Brown at CBR and another facility in what Friedman called “one-off” training sessions. Pitchers including Julio Urias have used the mounds at CBR for throwing sessions.
“Some are,” Friedman said. “We just have a lot of restrictions and are kind of erring on the side of caution. A number of our guys have opted against coming, but we do have a number of guys coming, staggering times and allowing guys to come in and throw off the mound or hit in the cage.”
On an Instagram Live interview with teammate Ross Stripling on Friday, Chris Taylor said he and other players have been using Dodger Stadium for a few weeks for similar limited purposes, specifically mentioning Corey Seager, Austin Barnes, Justin Turner, D.J. Peters, Kenley Jansen, Alex Wood, and Scott Alexander. Taylor said he hit live pitching for the first time last week, facing Jansen.
“The basically have two or three guys coming at a time,” Taylor said. “We get two-hour segments.”
MLB suspended all operations at spring training camps on March 13, a day after all remaining exhibition games were canceled and opening day was delayed.
Among teams with spring training in the Cactus League, the Diamondbacks opened their facility last week for individual workouts. The Mariners are also opening their spring facility, in Peoria, this week, as are the Angels in Tempe. More teams will likely follow.
Arizona governor Doug Ducey on May 12 announced major league sports could return to the state, without fans, beginning May 16. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean the Dodgers will hold spring training games in Arizona.
Details of an actual season and the spring training plans that precede it are still being worked out between the owners and players, with this week likely critical in resolving several issues, including safety protocols and financials.
- Mike DiGiovanna at the LA Times talked to higher-risk players and managers, including Dave Roberts and Scott Alexander, about the safety of potentially returning to the field.
- Kevin Modesti at the Orange County Register remembers a game at Dodger Stadium he attended in 1970 in which Billy Grabarkewitz tripped over second base, and interviewed Grabarkewitz about it.
- Alden Gonzalez and Joon Lee at ESPN wrote about how the last few months in isolation has changed the way major league teams have connected with fans.
- Commissioner Atsushi Saito announced over the weekend that Japanese professional baseball will begin play on June 19, per the Associated Press.
- The detail I appreciate most about this fan’s replica Dodger Stadium is the 84-foot sign on the wall: