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2020 MLB Season Preview: Everything you need to know for Opening Day

Patrick Lyons Avatar
July 21, 2020

In the 10 months since the Colorado Rockies played a regular season game, many proposals have been bandied about by Major League Baseball and the Players’ Association.

There were two training camps and one-plus offseason of transactions that have made it difficult to understand the landscape of the 2020 season.

For the next week, DNVR Rockies will be providing daily content for Colorado’s Quest for the Asterisk.

Colorado is aiming to win its first National League West pennant during a 60-game season that allows the use of the designated hitter in both leagues.

In addition, the Rockies will play 40 games against four NL West rivals and 20 opposing the five AL West clubs. While this seems balanced, Colorado will play six games at Dodger Stadium and seven at Chase Field batting the Diamondbacks, not to mention six games against the improved Texas Rangers and only three versus the last place Seattle Mariners.

Rosters will look a bit different than year’s past, but mainly due to some notable names who decided to sit out the 2020 season for concerns over the pandemic. Ian Desmond was the fourth player to step away on June 24 and former Rockies’ pitcher Collin McHugh became the 15th to make the announcement on July 19.

As for roster construction, there are no limitation with regards to amount of pitchers that can be placed on the active squad.

For the first two weeks of the season, 30 players will make up the main roster, then 28 for the next two weeks. For the remaining five weeks, it will be back to the normal 26-man rosters that were slated to govern the year.

Throughout the entirety of the season, teams will be able to name a taxi squad of three players to travel with the club on the off chance of player injury or restriction due to a positive coronavirus test. Of this trio of players, one must be a catcher.

The remaining players on the 60-man roster will ply their trade at Colorado’s satellite site, Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, NM. At 452 miles from Coors Field, the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate is more than twice the distance of the next furthest MLB club and it’s alternative site. (St. Louis Cardinals will utilize their Double-A affiliate Springfield Cardinals’ Hammons Field, 215 miles from Busch Stadium.)

Beginning with the 10th inning, all extra frames will open with a runner on second base in order to expedite scoring and reduce time of game. This new wrinkle will be impactful for minimizing overuse injuries to pitchers and the often inevitability of position players being forced to pitch.

Other new wrinkles will change game play as well, specifically the three-batter minimum which will prevent four relievers from appearing against one batter each in an effort to create the best matchup for the defending team.

Also, the 60-day injured list has been reduced to 45-days; subsequently, the 15-day IL for pitchers has been reverted back to 10-days for 2020.

The Rockies end the season like all MLB clubs on September 27. While the postseason schedule has not been announced, the format has not been altered in any way. Much discussion was had about expanding the playoffs in this abbreviated year, but it will be the standard Wild Card Game to begin the postseason before the four Division Series matchups.


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