News

MLB considering temporary realignment for 2020 season


According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, MLB is considering a temporary realignment plan for the 2020 season. It will involve teams playing all games within their respective spring training leagues and new divisions formed based on the geography of the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues. The plan also calls for a universal DH.

An empty Bright House Field, which is now known as Spectrum Field. (Brian Michael/Phillies Nation)

For the Phillies, it means they will play home games presumably in an empty Spectrum Field. Their division rivals for the 2020 season would consist of the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Detriot Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates. Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and Marlins Park in Miami will also be in use as well as Chase Field for the Cactus League. The National League and American League will be temporarily eliminated and the Phillies will play regular season games within the new North division as well as the South and East division. The new alignment goes as followed:

Grapefruit League

North: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays, Detriot Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates

South: Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles

East: Washington Nationals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins

Cactus League

Northeast: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics

West: Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels

Northwest: Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals

According to Nightengale, a three-week spring training would be held at each team’s existing site in either Florida or Arizona. Teams could play 12 games against each division rival and six between the teams in the other divisions within each league. A Cactus league team will not travel to play a Grapefruit League team and vice versa. There will also be at least one doubleheader a night and games could start as early as 11 a.m.

Similar to the Arizona plan ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported, the plan is still in its very early stages. It’s also one of many contingency plans MLB is reportedly discussing. The details are not completely fleshed out. It’s unclear what the plan would be if it was deemed safe for teams to return to their home ballpark.

The playoff structure is unclear as well. There could be division winners and the World Series could pin a Grapefruit League team against a Cactus League team in a domed stadium in late November.

If baseball is played in 2020 with this plan in place, the Phillies odds of making the playoffs should increase considerably. They move from arguably the best division in baseball, the National League East, to the worst. The Yankees will most likely be the favorite to win the Grapefruit League North but could be a favorite for a Wild Card spot if the traditional playoff format is in place. It’s important to note, however, that the Grapefruit League itself is still strong. The Nationals, Mets, Braves, Red Sox, Twins, Rays, Cardinals and Astros are sure to give the Phillies a tough time.

It’s also important to end this by saying that regular season baseball in 2020 is far from a guarantee. Considerable progress has to be made in regard to the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic in order for MLB to even consider returning in a timely matter with a plan like this in place.

If anything, if you’re a Phillies fan, this plan should further motivate you to stay home and practice good hygiene and social distancing so that the Phillies can play in a division with the Blue Jays, Pirates and Tigers.

MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION

  1. Forbes Says Phillies Are Now Worth $2 Billion
  2. Bryce Harper Gives Honest Thoughts On Gabe Kapler
  3. Scott Kingery Opens Up On The Challenges Of Playing Multiple Positions
  4. Phillies Phlashback: The Time Ryan Howard Dominated In Japan
  5. Andrew McCutchen Says He’ll Lead Off When 2020 Season Begins
  6. Seranthony Dominguez Recommended For Tommy John Surgery
  7. Bryce Harper On J.T. Realmuto: ‘I Want Him More Than Anything’
  8. Realmuto, Gregorius Will Become Free Agents After 2020 Season Regardless Of Length
  9. Joe Girardi Gushes About Bryce Harper: ‘He’s Such A Good Person’
  10. Sportsradio 94 WIP To Air 4 Classic Phillies Games In April
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Jaron B

    April 10, 2020 at 11:40 am

    It’s a possibility I do like but not love. Based off Dr Fauci’s remarks the other day, if everyone who’s asymptomatic gets the antibody test and everyone else gets both, test results or proof of vaccination (if part of the trials) must be shared in order to receive tickets. Gonna be an interesting world for the next 10-15 months

  2. Ken Bland

    April 10, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    The only realignment I’m concerned with is whether social distancing carries through to the books at whatever point baseball is played again. If social distancing becomes part of the fabric of the game, Ruben Tejada never gets decimated by Chase Utley, Pete Rose (happy birthday on 4/14) is called out for obliterating Ray Fosse.

    Stupid comment? Nah, not compared to the ridiculousness of tracking every rumor of what will be when or if this horrible circumstance is seen in arrears.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2020
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top