We’re back! Finally some good news during the global pandemic, which most baseball fans wanted to hear and especially Brewer fans. On June 23rd, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred Jr. announced the return of baseball for the 2020 season. The MLB and the MLB Players Association have finally come to an agreement to get the the season rolling, starting July 1st with Spring Training 2.0. This Spring Training 2.0 will be 3 weeks long and regular season play will start July 23rd or July 24th. No official schedules have been set yet. How does all of this affect the Brewers? Let’s break that down!
Spring Training 2.0
For the Brewers, no more sunny Arizona and hello Miller Park! In the agreement with the MLB, the MLBPA agreed to start training camp back up and at the teams professional stadiums. This gives the league’s clubhouses in Florida and Arizona a well deserved deep clean due to spikes in COVID-19 cases in each of those states. Just like normal spring training, pitchers and catchers are going to report a few days earlier than the other position players. The Brewers will use Miller Park to the fullest, from the playing field to the terrace reserve to the surrounding ball parks. This gives the players a chance to stay as socially distant as possible while still getting in their reps. At this time, there is no certainty there will be anymore spring training games, or just inter-squad practice and play. This shouldn’t affect the Brewers too much as every team has to abide by the same rules.
There are still the six divisions: AL East, NL East, AL Central, NL Central, AL West, and NL West. But now there’s a twist! To keep cross country travel down, teams will only play against their geographically respective divisions: AL & NL East, AL & NL Central, and AL & NL West. 40 of the games will be in a team’s own division and the remaining 20 will be inter-league play. So who will the Brewers be playing? As normal, they still have to face the Cardinals, Cubs, Pirates, and Reds. In addition, they will be playing against their AL Central counter suits of the Indians, Twins, Royals, Tigers, and White Sox.
The addition of the DH for the National League teams has been added for the 2020 season. This helps Craig Counsell’s decision making for where to play Ryan Braun with the new additions of Logan Morrison, Justin Smoak, Avisail Garcia, and the returning Keon Broxton.
The trade deadline shifts back from its original date of July 31st to August 31st. This years trade deadline will be a wild one for sure for many other teams. As for the Brewers, I can see them picking up pieces to fill needs if an injuries occur, but with the shortened season they may look for internal solutions to keep the money for free agents for future seasons.
No changes! Finally something we’re similar with! We still get the five team playoffs, consisting of the three division winners and two wild cards teams. The Post season is familiar territory for the Brewers. In the last two seasons (’18 & ’19), the Brewers made the playoffs. 2018 was a season foiled by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship and 2019 ended with a loss to the World Series winning Washington Nationals in the Wild Card game. The Brewers have the capabilities to pull off another playoff push and chance at a World Series title this season with their combination of experience and determination.
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