The 2020 MLB season looks to be set to finally happen after long labor negotiations.
Last week, Major League Baseball officially announced a plan for a 60-game regular season. This means the Detroit Tigers will take the field in a matter of weeks.
Can this young ballclub put together some magic in a shortened MLB season?
MLB to begin 60-game season in late July
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred put out a press release on Wednesday to announce details on the 2020 season.
Players will report for training on July 1 with the anticipation of a 60-game season starting on July 23 or 24.
“Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon,” Manfred said in the release. “We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with baseball again soon.”
On Monday, June 22, all 30 MLB clubs agreed to the latest 2020 season proposal. Terms of the agreement will be based on the March 26 deal struck between the league and MLB Players Association. That came following the shutdown of spring training in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MLB thought about holding the entire season in Florida or Arizona, but all 30 MLB teams will hold training camps in their respective parks.
New rules implemented for shortened MLB season
The 2020 MLB schedule will include 10 games for each team against its four division opponents. It will also consist of 20 games against the opposing National League Division. That means the AL East will face the NL East, and so forth.
Each team can invite 60 players to camp. Teams will have the option to send up to 20 players who are not on the 40-man roster to an alternate site.
The 2020 MLB season will also use the designated-hitter rule in both leagues.
Playoff schedules will remain the same as previous years, with a two-wild card format in each league.
Other new details for the season include:
- Season-opening rosters will be 30 men. They will gradually reduce to 26 after four weeks.
- A trade deadline is set for Aug. 31.
- Extra-inning games will see a runner on second base to begin each half of the inning.
- The 60-day injured list is reduced to 45 days.
- Along with daily COVID-19 testing, non-playing personnel will wear masks in the dugout and bullpen.
- No spitting or chewing tobacco is allowed, and no celebratory contact between players.
Tigers still in rebuilding mode
The 2019 MLB Season was one to forget for the Detroit Tigers, but brighter days appear on the horizon.
Detroit posted a 47-114 record, its lowest win total since 2003 when the Tigers had a franchise-worst 43-119 record.
Ron Gardenhire returns for his third season as manager of Detroit in 2020. The veteran coach has a young roster to work with, but veteran Miguel Cabrera highlights the roster again.
Cabrera, 37, is entering his 18th MLB season in 2020 and his 13th season as a Tiger. The former Triple Crown winner has seen a decline in his numbers over recent years. Last season Cabrera hit .282 with 12 home runs and 59 RBI. Despite that, he still led the Tigers in average and RBI.
Detroit has been adding a lot of promising young talent in recent years thanks to high draft positions in the last three years.
Casey Mize, the 2018 No. 1 selection, is expected to make his MLB debut in 2020. Mize had a 2.72 ERA and 8-3 record in the minors last year.
Earlier this month, the Tigers selected Arizona State third baseman Spencer Torkelson No. 1 overall in the 2020 MLB Draft. They followed that up by selecting Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler to open the second round.
Oddsmakers don’t give Tigers much hope
Expectations for the Tigers in 2020 are not high around the country.
When it comes to the AL Central, oddsmakers list the Tigers with 80-1 odds to win the division alongside the Kansas City Royals. The Minnesota Twins stand as the current favorite at -160.