As of now, the plan appears to be for the majority of the Pittsburgh Pirates players to remain in Bradenton during MLB’s suspension of play
As everyone knows by now, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, on Thursday Major League Baseball announced the suspension of Spring Training games. They also announced that the start of the regular season would be pushed back at least two weeks, but all signs point toward a May being the most likely best case scenario.
When this news broke, people started to wonder what MLB players would do during this time. Well, we now have a clearer idea of what Pittsburgh Pirates players will be up to. At least in the immediate future.
Players remaining in Bradenton is beneficial for multiple reasons. First off, by remaining in Bradenton and continuing to workout it will benefit players as they continue to work to get into game shape. This is especially true for starting pitchers who would be looking to get stretched out.
Second, right now, the less traveling folks do the better. The less travel there is the quicker the spread of COVID-19 will begin to slow down and closer we can all get to returning to our normal every day lives.
Furthermore, as has been reported for a few weeks now no MLB team has done more to combat COVID-19 than the Pittsburgh Pirates. As the team prepares to deep clean LECOM Park and the Pirate City facilities again on Sunday, it will continue to be one of the safest places for the players, coaches, etc. to be.
Obviously, keeping the practices closed to the press and the public is the right move. While we all wish it could be open for the media so that we could all enjoy some of the wonderful sights and sounds of baseball that fans are usually treated to this time of year, playing it safe in an effort to combat COVID-19 remains to 100% be the correct move.
The group of 40 players that will remain in Bradenton is sure to include Pirate players that are working their way back from injury. This likely includes Jameson Taillon, who is recovering from Tommy John Surgery last summer, and pitchers Steven Brault and Clay Holmes who were injured this spring.