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The 2020 MLB Season is a Go

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What we know so far, including notes on the 60-game schedule, roster sizes, testing procedures, and some in-game rule changes.

Milwaukee Brewers v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The disputing between the MLBPA and owners that seemed endless is over, and there will be a Major League Baseball season in 2020. There will be a 60-game schedule, starting either July 23 or 24, and it will span over 66 days. The postseason format will remain the same, with the six division winners and two Wild Card teams.

Before the season gets started in about a month, teams will report to their home stadiums for a second round of “spring” training on Wednesday, July 1. Players and personnel will be tested for COVID-19 when they report for camp. Pitchers and catchers will report first, followed by the rest of the position players — just like in February.

During the season, tests for coronavirus will occur every other day, and they are strict restrictions in place shall someone test positive. There will be a inactive list specifically for players that test positive. There will not be a set amount of time that players on the list have to remain out. In a press conference on Tuesday, Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said the organization had no players with a positive test for coronavirus.

The Cardinals best and worst 60-game stretches, by Ben Godar.

What history tells us about a 60-game season, by Tyler Kinzy.

Preparing for a 60-game Season, by Blake Newberry.

Teams are expected to play 40 games within their respective divisions, 10 against each opponent, and those games will come (for the most part) as two- and three-game series. The other 20 games will be interleague against the same division; so, the Cardinals will take on the AL Central and see the Twins, Indians, White Sox, Royals, and Tigers this year, in addition to the all-too-familiar NL Central clubs.

Teams will open the season with 30-player rosters that will drop to 28 players after two weeks and then to 26 by the end of the first month of the season. Teams are allowed to have a taxi squad of approximately 20 players, and up to three players from it would be allowed at the games. The Cardinals selected the Springfield Cardinals to host their taxi squad at “Busch Stadium South,” as said by the Double-A affiliate’s Twitter account.

Building a 30-Man Roster & 20-Man Taxi Squad, by J.P. Hill.

As far as in-game rules go, there are a few changes to note there as well. The National League will be playing with a designated hitter as well, for the first time. In the event of extra innings, teams will start their offensive frame with a runner on second base; it will be the batter who made the final out of the ninth inning. Each batter will have to bring his own pine tar rag and bat weight(s) to and from the on-deck circle, and every pitcher will have to bring his own rosin bag. Pitchers are not allowed to lick their fingers and will be allowed to carry a wet rag to moisten their fingers while pitching. Players will have to retrieve their own equipment from the dugout - so we won’t see players helping each other by bringing out another’s cap and glove.

MLB is expected to announce all 30 teams’ schedules sometime this week. We will have some baseball to cover here at VEB really soon! Stay tuned!