Minor leaguers left in limbo as COVID-19 postponement impacts MiLB

Updated: Mar. 13, 2020 at 5:38 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -The ripple effects are still being felt from the postponements of all major sports due to the possible spread of the novel coronavirus. or COVID-19.

Among those in the reaction zone are minor league baseball players.

Minor League Baseball announced Thursday the league and its 6,000 players would join the majors in delaying the start of the 2020 season.

“We will work with Major League Baseball and our community partners to resume play as soon as it is safe to do so,” the league statement reads.

Here in the Grand Strand, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are among those who sent their teams home from spring training in Mesa, Ariz.

“Thank you for your loyalty to the Pelicans and your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters,” the advanced-A affiliate for the Chicago Cubs tweeted Thursday.

One minor league player, who is a pitcher in the system for an NL West team, said teams have informed players they must remain in the state where their spring training is being held as Major League Baseball creates a contingency plan.

The MLB announced Thursday that opening day, originally scheduled for March 26, would be pushed back at least two weeks, to at least what was MiLB’s planned opening day of April 9.

MiLB has not yet given an estimated date for the return to the diamond.

An extended suspension of play could impact players’ career paths.

“This hurts people who are fighting for jobs,” the pitcher wrote in a text message Friday.

A shorter season and fewer call-ups through the minor and major league level, the player said, could impact player movement.

“It could be just cut and dry when they make decisions,” the text finished.

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