Minor League Baseball (MiLB) has undergone significant changes over the last year, including the cancellation of the entire 2020 season and a restructuring that saw over 40 teams lose MLB affiliations while many more changed organizations. Even with that settled, questions still remain about whether and how the ‘21 season will proceed.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the plans for the upcoming minor league feature a few adjustments.
- Opening Day will likely be pushed back to mid-May, mainly to promote a separate spring training that would follow MLB camp. That idea has previously been suggested, so this isn’t necessarily new.
- Games will only be played Wednesday through Sunday. Whether that is just one series against one affiliate is not clear yet, but it would seem to be the prudent thing to do.
- The schedule for class-A teams was going to be reduced to 132, but that could drop closer to 120-125 games.
- There will be no All-Star games or playoffs.
As for whether fans and/or media will be able attend, those decisions have yet to be made and will almost certainly vary by state and municipality. Our source was unaware of specifics regarding testing policies or roster sizes, details that will probably be worked out once MLB and the players union reach an agreement. It should also be noted that this is a fluid situation, so there could be tweaks to the changes mentioned above.
It is good that there is a plan being put in place for MiLB teams to have games and develop their prospects in a safe manner. Cubs Insider will have more information as it becomes available.