DETROIT – For the first time since spring training in Lakeland was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Detroit Tigers resumed training Friday morning at Comerica Park.
The 2020 Major League Baseball season will be one of the most unique in the history of the sport, with a revised schedule, massive rule changes and specific roster and transaction requirements.
Tigers GM Al Avila said recently that anything could happen in the 60-game season.
“We’re excited that we do have a chance to make it to playoffs,” Avila said. “You talk to the staff, you talk to the players, you see how it was going into spring training before it was shutdown? Yes, we all all feel we have a chance to be a playoff team in the shortened season.”
Teams don’t have much time to prepare for the new season, having only three weeks to get back into game-shape after more than 100 days off.
Friday morning, the Tigers focused on the pitchers and catchers -- Pitching could be the Tigers’ big strength this year. The entire team will be on the field training Monday.
New rules and precautions have been introduced to keep players and fans safe -- players can’t spit, they can’t lick their hands and they have to stay socially distant from each other. Ron Gardenhire has to limit his mound visits.
Media personnel will be relegated to certain sections of the park and won’t be allowed in the clubhouse, so all interviews will be done digitally.