BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – As the Buffalo Bisons got the official word they would not have a season this year as Minor League Baseball canceled the 2020 season, their parent club is getting ready to start its shortened season.
The Blue Jays are in Dunedin this week to go through COVID-19 tests and other health screenings before heading up to Toronto for “spring training 2.0” although they’re still waiting for clearance from the federal government to be able to travel to Toronto.
News 4 Sports’ Heather Prusak talked with former voice of the Bisons and now voice of the Blue Jays, Ben Wagner about how they’re preparing for this shortened season.
Of course it will be unlike any other given the restrictions and regulations due to the pandemic. Teams will have to adjust to their new schedules, there won’t be fans in the stands and media members/team broadcasters will have different access as well.
Then there’s the game aspect of it. It’s now a 60-game season as opposed to the normal 162 games. That means there is not much room for error. Teams have to come together as quickly as possible and can’t afford slow starts or major slumps in this kind of a shortened season.
Other levels of the organization are affected as well without a Minor League baseball season. This greatly impacts the development of prospects. Some of the Jays top prospects will be on their taxi squad that will most likely be in Buffalo at Sahlen Field but ones that don’t make the cut are missing valuable game action they’d get during the season.
Good thing for the Blue Jays, their young core moved up the ranks before this year. That’s why there are high expectations for Toronto even before this group comes back together for spring training 2.0. Guys like Vlad Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Bo Bichette are at the center of this rebuild so the bar is set high.