COVID-19 Virus Ends Spring Training As We Look Forward To The Eventual Start Of The Regular Season
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Blue Jays End Spring With a 12-6 Record, And Leave Dunedin With A Healthy Rotation
It was a week like no other--one that saw the sports world come to a halt, and unfortunately any normality pertaining to Blue Jays talk has also stopped.
COVID-19’s impact on spring training can not be ignored, and on Thursday, March 12th, the Blue Jays spring training journey was officially over. Toronto ended spring training with a total of 18 games played, winning 12 of them. In particular, the final week for the Blue Jays was especially successful, capping off the spring winning seven in a row, including split-squad games. With spring training pre-maturely ending, the 2020 regular season is now the focus. Player statistics and the team’s record will now be forgotten, as it is every year once spring training ends.
It is unknown when baseball will resume. Speculation will be a popular form of communication for fans everywhere in the coming weeks. The Blue Jays will eventually begin the 2020 campaign, and do so with a healthy rotation. Hyun-jin Ryu, Chase Anderson, Tanner Roark, Matt Shoemaker and Shun Yamaguchi are projected to round out the Toronto starters, but the delay to the season may cause other pieces to work their way into the equation--Trent Thornton and Ryan Borucki amongst those.
Health is a priority for every MLB squad throughout the spring, and the Blue Jays checked off the box for pitching as we conclude Grapefruit League play and move into the regular season. Toronto will rely on a relatively older rotation with an average age of 32 years, one that can be seen as a placeholder committee until top prospect Nate Pearson is ready to be an everyday arm.
For the young, budding Toronto infield, the season will begin with great anticipation from fans and management alike to see if Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will transition into MLB stars. Despite being in a highly competitive American League East, the Blue Jays possess some of the most compelling players in the division.
There is no denying the Blue Jays will be an exciting team to watch in 2020. A mix of young players and veterans will round out a Blue Jays and an attempt to compete for a wild card spot, with the Yankees being the unanimous favourite to take home the A.L east crown.
At the same time, it is hard to ignore the implications the suspension of the season will have on the 2020 MLB campaign once it starts. We have entered unprecedented territory with the effect COVID-19 has had on the sports world. The discussion amongst the baseball world prior to the Coronavirus outbreak was about the Houston Astros and how the team will cope with hostile ballparks all year long when playing on the road--now there is a distraction.
Despite the madness happening in the sports world, the Blue Jays brass will have to continue their roster appraisal and come to a conclusion on unanswered questions before the regular season begins.
How will Anthony Alford fit into the Blue Jays outfield? How will newly signed veterans Travis Shaw and Joe Panik fit into the Blue Jays infield? How will the utilization of Travis Shaw affect Rowdy Tellez’s progression as an MLB first baseman? What is the timeline for prospect Nate Pearson to receive a chance to pitch for the Blue Jays in 2020?
It is unclear when the 2020 MLB season will begin and how the schedule throughout the year will be affected, but for now, all we can do is speculate and project how the 2020 version of the Blue Jays will perform.