As more and more states open up more and more businesses, it was only a matter of time before an MLB team sought to have access to their facilities for players to train.
The first team has arrived:
SLATER SCOOP: Marlins will allow their 40-man roster players to return to their spring training facility in Jupiter, FL on Tuesday.
Players can use the batting cages and throw off the mound, I'm told.
The clubhouse and rest of facility will be closed.
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) May 18, 2020
To be sure, this is NOT the same thing as the kind of pre-Spring Training work you see, as it’s obviously much more limited than that. But it will allow for guys to start gearing up for a return to Spring Training if they don’t have those kinds of facilities otherwise available to them.
Since permission to do this must have come from Major League Baseball, itself, and since Arizona’s opening philosophy has been similar to that of Florida, I tentatively expect other teams will be following suit in the coming weeks.
As for whether this is a good sign about progress between the players and owners on a safe return to baseball, I wouldn’t go that far. Remember, everything is proceeding in a just-in-case manner right now, both on the operations side of things, and the health and safety side of things. The Marlins allowing their players to work out is very likely simply about them offering a just-in-case opportunity for players (if the negotiations go well, and if health and safety allow it, and if there is Spring Training II in June, then it would serve player physical health to allow them to start hitting and throwing off of mounds).
Let’s see if other teams follow the Marlins’ lead, and also how the Marlins are proceeding safely with respect to their facilities and player distancing.