Sources: Phillies likely to stay in Philly for Spring Training II

Sources: Phillies likely to stay in Philly for Spring Training II

If Major League Baseball and the players association can successfully hammer out plans for a half-season, teams would need to come together for Spring Training II.

The question is: Where?

Will teams return to their spring training sites in Florida and Arizona or simply hold camps in their regular home ballparks?

It is likely that the Phillies will train in Philadelphia, according to multiple sources. Nothing is certain because there are still many big-picture details to work out, but that is the plan being discussed.

MLB, provided it reaches agreement with the union on safety and salary matters, and receives approval from government and health officials, would like to start the season in early July. The general consensus is that players would need three weeks to get ready. That means camps would open in the neighborhood of June 10-15.

Could the Phillies pull off a spring training camp at Citizens Bank Park? 

Absolutely.

The Phils still have 53 players on their spring roster, but there are two spacious clubhouses in the ballpark that would allow players to spread out — provided they are even allowed to use the clubhouse.

There are five outdoor pitcher’s mounds at the ballpark and more across the street at the team’s Urban Youth Academy at FDR Park. The Youth Academy has two full-size diamonds if extra field space is needed.

The Phillies also have ownership stakes in their Triple A club in Allentown and their Double A club in Reading so those ballparks could also be utilized, if necessary.

It appears as if clubs will be allowed to make their own decisions on where to hold their respective camps. By training at their regular home ballparks, players would have to go through initial health protocols at only one facility as opposed to doing it at their spring training site and then again at their regular-season site.

If the Baltimore Orioles or the teams from New York were to hold camps in their home parks, the Phillies would have some logical partners for exhibition games. Otherwise, Phillies players could get live reps in intrasquad games.

Again, details are still being worked out.

Spring Training I was halted on March 12 because of the coronavirus health crisis.

MLB would like to have an 82-game season — just over half the customary 162 — followed by an expanded 14-team postseason tournament. It's likely that teams will spend the regular season playing geographically close to home. In this case, the Phillies would play their NL East rivals and cross over and play teams from the AL East, as well.

Fans will not be permitted into games, at least at the start of the season. MLB hopes to be able to loosen that policy as the season goes on, depending on the advice of health officials.

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Joe Girardi sends Phillies fans a message, shares how he's passing the time

Joe Girardi sends Phillies fans a message, shares how he's passing the time

We're all passing the time in different ways. Some of us are enjoying the re-airs of old games, some of us are trying to recover from binge-watching "Tiger King," and we're all already going a little stir crazy.

Thursday of this week would have been opening day. There would have been eight straight days of Phillies baseball from March 26 through April 2.

Instead, we all sit around and wait a while. Hey, there could be worse ways to fight this battle than by being told to just chill. 

What's Joe Girardi up to 11 days after the Phillies' last exhibition game?

"I know you're sad, I'm sad too," Girardi said in a video message tweeted by the Phillies. "I miss this great game of baseball. But this is a time that we can pull together, that we can protect our families, that we can love our families, we can do things together. One of the things we love to do is play cards. We play this game Garbage. I play against my daughter Lena, I play against my wife Kim. 

"We do a lot of shooting basketballs in the backyard. My daughter has a broken ankle right now and is in a boot but I love to rebound for her. We're playing catch in the streets.

"You know, we're getting back to some of the old-school values where we actually have to make up games to pass the time. Again, I know this is extremely disappointing, but we're going to get through this. And we're going to be stronger as a country, we're going to be stronger as a Phillie fan base."

That is the hope. That the valuable lessons gleaned during this rough time recalibrate our daily interactions and decisions moving forward.

Back before the world changed, the Phillies went 14-5 in spring training, best in the bigs. It's mostly meaningless, of course, but they had a little fun with it.

There will almost certainly be a second, shortened spring training period before the regular season eventually begins, and we'll see key dates like the trade deadline and All-Star Game pushed back.

"The guys were really working hard. I really liked how we were playing the game and adjustments players had made," Girardi said. "They were strong as a unit and we need to stay strong as a country. We need to stay strong as a Phillie fan base. We need to reach out and help each other. We have to remember social distancing but we have to protect our families at a very difficult time in our country."

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Phillies Talk podcast: Expanded rosters when MLB season eventually begins?

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Phillies Talk podcast: Expanded rosters when MLB season eventually begins?

What could expanded rosters look like when the 2020 MLB season eventually starts? Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss the unprecedented regular season to come.

• Roster construction unlike any we've seen before.

• Bullpen management becomes even more important for Joe Girardi and Bryan Price.

• How long might it take before a starting pitcher goes 7 innings?

• How will the delayed season affect service time of key Phillies?

• More on the signing of international prospect Yhoswar Garcia.

• Do teams have enough information to even have a 2020 MLB draft?

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