According to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, MLB will delay the start of the Triple-A season from April 6 to a date that lines up with the rest of the minor league levels that start in early May. That means setting up alternate sites similar to what we saw in 2020, though this time it’s more about having those upper-level players closer to their team’s home base while the MLB season gets underway.
Minor league spring training begins in April following the big leaguers’ exodus from their facilities, but those Triple-A players and perhaps some other top prospects who’ve already been in camp could head to South Bend for a few weeks. The hope, Passan says, is that being at alternate sites will afford those players more time to possibly be vaccinated while remaining under closer oversight from the organization.
Even with COVID-19 numbers dropping rapidly and vaccines being distributed in greater numbers, sending several hundred players all over the country without a quarantine period presented a risk MLB didn’t want to take. If all goes well, they won’t have mass cancellations and the various minor league levels can proceed more or less as planned.