Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black and general manager Jeff Bridich spoke to the media via conference call, including Rox Pile’s Kevin Henry, on Friday evening to discuss some of the plans for the team as a result of the Coronavirus delay.
Major League Baseball decided to cancel the rest of Spring Training and postpone the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.
Each team is deciding what is best for them to do so that’s why Bridich and Black held a conference call with the media: to make it known what the Rockies are doing right now.
"“We met as a big group today,” said Bridich. “All of our players that are currently still in Major League camp with us were there –our [coaching] staff, some front office folks–and we spent about an hour and a half talking through what we could talk through, based on the concurrent information that we had, that is coming from both MLB and the player’s union.“We talked, again, none of this is 100 percent set in stone because we are still adjusting to the news and information of the day that comes to us, 24 hours at a time. We laid out the options…we talked about staying here (in Scottsdale), we talked about going home to Denver…“We don’t have a final, final count about guys and what their decisions are [but] we have a general feeling that a lot of guys will probably stay here and we’re going to plan on keeping this place open, to a certain degree, on a weekly basis, and I think that some guys are still waiting for any news to come tomorrow and/or Sunday before they make a final decision on whether to stay or go.”"
In other words, it’s still a fluid situation so MLB players can determine whether or not they want to stay in Scottsdale or go to Denver.
Some of them are likely on the fence while some are going to stay because they want to maintain as normal of a routine as possible, particularly if they live in the Phoenix area, as some players and coaches do.
"“Our concept was to kind of run this…similarly to how we run things here in January,” said Bridich."
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That means, as of the writing of this article, the weight room is open at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. So are the batting cages, the field for infield practice, the bullpens are open for sessions for pitchers, and food is available out of their kitchen. The only thing not going on is games.
However, so that they have fewer people there and, therefore, a lower chance of having people get sick, only MLB personnel is there.
"“In terms of overall camp, we have decided to send our minor league players and minor league staff home. Some of that travel is already underway and more of it will be underway tomorrow so for terms of limiting the number or volume of people here, I think we do have that stuff in mind.”"
Part of the reason that the Rockies did this is that the minor league season will start later than the major league games. Bridich said that the minor league season will likely begin in “45-ish days” or so. That would be around Monday, April 27.
Bud Black indicated that while Major League Baseball says that the season will be postponed at least two weeks, they will look at the information on a day-to-day basis to decide when they will make the return date. When that date comes, he expects it to be fairly far in advance of the new Opening Day.
"“…[W]e’ll get plenty of time from MLB to get back into game shape,” said Black, “and that will be at least a three week period of that segment…to be ready for our season.”"
Some signs seem to be pointing in the right direction as far as preventative action against it so, hopefully, the schedule will not have to be altered more than it already has been but Major League Baseball will be overly cautious for a return until the virus is close to being eradicated, which is the most important thing in the situation.