MLB's regular season will not begin until at least mid-May, commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed Monday morning in a statement.
"Following last night's newly updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) restricting events of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, the opening of the 2020 regular season will be pushed back in accordance with that guidance," part of the statement read.
At the very least, this pushes the regular season back to mid-May. But it will be a longer delay than that because the eight-week recommendation is subject to change, and players will need a second modified version of spring training to prepare for the regular season. It's tough to see any regular-season games taking place before June, though MLB still is not yet conceding that the 162-game schedule will need to be shortened.
Asked over the weekend what he told his team, Phillies manager Joe Girardi said this:
"We said look, we're gonna have time to prepare for the regular season. Kinda keep it up like your offseason workouts right before you come to spring training, if you're a pitcher and throwing some light bullpen (sessions), do that. Because we really don't know how long we're going to be out and then we don't know how long the season's going to continue. Like, will we play regular season in the month of October? So if you continue to throw five or six innings like you're used to now, you'll be out of gas in the month of October."