TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s been nearly 50 days since Major League Baseball suspended play during spring training. Now the conversation is centered-on when will MLB begin their season and what will that look like?
One of the latest propositions is to have three regional sites, comprised of 10-team divisions. The idea is to have a West region based in Arizona, a Central region based in Texas and an East region based in Florida.
In a Zoom call Wednesday afternoon, Rays infielder Joey Wendle shared his thoughts on this recent proposal.
“I guess my opinion of it would just be to not really have much of an opinion on it,” Wendle said laughingly. “We’ve just seen so many plans and so many things come to light. When they have a concrete plan, when they have something set in stone I’m sure people will be voicing their opinions about it. Obviously everyone wants to get back to baseball and that’s the main priority and everyone wants to do it responsibly and safely without taking testing and other necessary things away from the people that need it.”
With Florida in the conversation of being a potential host site for games, that could be an incredibly fortunate situation for Rays players if they end-up getting to play on their home field.
“It looks like we might get an opportunity to play all of our games at home or all of our games in Florida,” Wendle said. “I haven’t really paid too, too much attention or read too much into the details because I know this is just a constantly evolving situation. But I guess in some way that does put us at a slight advantage.”
The timeline to return is also still up in the air, but Wendle again weighed-in on what he felt could be factors in that decision and how much time they’d need to get ready to actually start playing games.
“No specifics,” Wendle said. “I don’t know why three weeks is floating around in my head. Honestly, I think a lot of it comes down to the pitchers– starting pitchers and how much time they need to kind of get stretched-out and their pitch counts up. I’ve heard talks of expanded rosters so that we could ramp-up the spring training and pitchers wouldn’t have to build-up as much. Like I said, I just don’t know until we have a specific plan. I can’t really give you a concrete answer on any of that stuff.”
In regards to staying in shape, Wendle has a home gym where he’s able to work out and has been able to toss the baseball with his brother.
When I asked him if he could remember the last time he wasn’t playing baseball in April and May, it took him a minute and he said it had to have been back in middle school, around 2004.