EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday the start of the 2021 Triple-A season will be delayed by a month. MLB clubs will operate at alternate training sites similar to those used during the the abbreviated 2020 season.
The El Paso Chihuahuas were originally scheduled to begin their season on April 8 in Salt Lake City, but games will be pushed back May, which is around the same time the Double-A and Class A season are expected to begin. The Chihuahuas’ season is now slated to begin on May 6 in Tacoma. Opening Day at Southwest University Park is now scheduled for May 13 against the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies affiliate) at 7:05 p.m.
“This is a prudent step to complete the Major League and Minor League seasons as safely as possible, and we look forward to having fans back in ballparks across the country very soon,” Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive VP of baseball operations, said in a statement.
Minor League Baseball seasons, at all levels, were canceled in 2020. Alternate sites were set up as part of MLB’s health and safety protocols, providing a nearby location for clubs to train and develop players during the shortened MLB campaign.
“At the end of the day, they want to make sure we have a chance to bounce back,” said El Paso Chihuahuas general manager Brad Taylor. “They want to see us bounce back, too, because they are looking at the long haul picture, which is to get everyone healthy — not only physically, but financially and business wise. We want this to be a long-term and great run with this new structure having MLB so involved.”
With the season being pushed back, the schedule goes from 142 games to 120 games — 60 at home and 60 on the road. However, Taylor says there have been talks of extending the Triple-A season through the beginning of October.