Owners and executives hope to push back the start of the 2021 season and shorten its length, according to a report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Nightengale reports that these owners and executives are citing their desire for players to get vaccinated before the start of the season. He said that while some players are on board with that, they also hope to extend the season on the back end so it is still a full 162 games.
There are many questions that come with a shortened MLB season, beginning whether players would again receive pro-rated salaries as they did in 2020.
The 2021 schedule was released last summer, and the Phillies are currently set to take on the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on April 1. But at this point, it appears that it could be in jeopardy.
Pushing back the start of the 2020 season would have an impact on the Phillies. Rhys Hoskins is currently recovering from left elbow UCL repair surhery, and it is not certain he will be available to return at the beginning of April.
A shortened season could allow the Phillies to get more out of Spencer Howard, who pitched just 24 1/3 innings in 2020. It would be unlikely for him to remain in the rotation for a full 162-game season, but that could change for a shorter season.
Getting the 2020 season underway involved a back-and-forth dispute between the MLB owners and the MLBPA. Nightengale highlighted that the current collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players expires on Dec. 1, 2021, and another dispute over the coming season would not be favorable for anyone.
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