The belief from most in baseball is that there will be a 2020 season of some kind.
No one, of course, has a clue as to what form it will take, meaning a start date, number of games, postseason format, etc.
But whenever the sport gets the go-ahead to resume spring training, which was officially suspended March 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Luke Voit said he believes the Yankees won’t require all that long to be regular season-ready.
"I don't think it's as much of a big thing for the hitters,” Voit told the YES Network. “Hitters need a couple of weeks. I think it's more for our pitchers and starting pitchers to ramp up, get ready for those five or six innings, 100 pitches, and our bullpen guys to get some innings. From a hitting standpoint, I can get all my stuff done off machines in the cages and stuff like that. I think most guys felt ready to go before we got shut down."
Voit hit on an oft-expressed thought from players to managers to scouts to executives: that the roughly six weeks of spring training exist almost solely for starting pitchers to be stretched out. Whenever baseball gets the green light to restart, a full six weeks of training likely won’t be feasible, though.
“I’m still kind of optimistic and hoping for the best and hoping we can get in as many games as possible,” Aaron Boone said Wednesday, speaking specifically of the regular season. “Obviously, that's going to be altered to some degree.”
And factoring into that will be the length of time it will take the sport to reboot spring training.
According to several managers reached this week, Major League Baseball has reached out to a cross-section of managers and executives from both leagues to elicit their thoughts on what’s necessary for a second spring training. The number currently getting the most traction is in the range of three weeks. That would give starters at least three outings and the buildup could continue in the regular season, which likely would include expanded rosters.
Voit, who was among the 10 or so Yankees who remained in Tampa to work out at Steinbrenner Field until March 19, when he and his wife headed home to St. Louis, told YES he’s working out regularly at home and keeping in touch as best he can with his teammates via group text.
"We're in contact every day. It's still fun,” he said. “We're still managing to keep our spirits up. Hopefully we get this figured out and we're back on the diamond here soon. All the boys are good, we're staying locked in and when the time comes, we'll be ready to go."