No intrasquad game last night for the Cubs, but there are a few camp notes to share this morning, including some alterations to Wrigley Field.
With the knowledge that any attendance at Wrigley this year – if it exists at all – will be dramatically curtailed, and with the knowledge that players are going to need to be spread out all season, the Cubs are effectively expanding their dugout:
Cubs adding more dugout-style seats so players can better spread out.
Ross: "They're going to take out some of the seats and cover that area down there, so players have got some area to sit and move around a little bit. That was a concern of ours." pic.twitter.com/w3ypq4tTvq
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) July 11, 2020
This allows the players to spread out in extended dugouts instead of sitting in the stands. David Ross expects it will help the energy in the dugout as well. "I just think it's a little more convenient for the players." https://t.co/DmjvSmRu4Z
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) July 11, 2020
This is a very good idea for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is you want to make things as comfortable as possible to comply with distancing. As we’ve seen, players are going to continue to test positive even after intake, which means there will be risks of spreading among a team if distancing and hygiene are not observed crazy well. And being too close too each other for too long in a dugout during a game would be one of the “better” ways to inadvertently spread the virus.
Good news yesterday, as both Kyle Ryan (late arrival) and Anthony Rizzo (lower back stiffness) were on the field:
Ryan, Rizzo back on the field. pic.twitter.com/LtDwU3RnbY
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) July 11, 2020
Rizzo is still considered day-to-day, but he did some fielding work and took some swings to test his back (you can see one in that video there that went waaaaay out).
“Got some swings off and felt good,” Ross said after talking to Rizzo, per NBCSC. “It looked like the ground balls went well and everything’s continued to move in the right direction. And we’ll continue to build him up. He’s itching to see some live pitching here soon, so we’ll get that in the works.”