Indians: Extra spring training won’t make a difference for this team

Cleveland Indians spring training (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians spring training (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The MLB has shut down the idea of an extended spring training for the Indians and other teams due to COVID-concerns but it won’t matter.

This may sound like a knock on the Cleveland Indians, but assuredly, it’s not. The Indians wanted to have an early start to their spring training, hoping to have players report by the end of January to Goodyear, AZ. There were hopes of having nearly 40 players at the camp to start training and practicing for the upcoming 2021 MLB season. The folks at the MLB shut down the Indians and other teams who were hoping to start early, by citing the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and the desire to help stime that rising number.

MLB is set to open training camp on Feb. 17.

It’s a decision that won’t affect the Indians one way or another, because this team is either going to succeed or not, and a few extra weeks isn’t going to be the difference-maker. These are pro-athletes after all, and while yes, most of the minor leaguers haven’t played in over a year, they should still be testing their skills and improving their abilities despite not playing. After all, if Gordon Bombay can expect his youth team to condition in the offseason, then you better expect pro athletes to be doing the same thing.

The Indians probably believe the extra time would help get their rookies in a better place to be able to contribute but it’s hard to argue that two or three extra weeks is going to tank the season completely. The Indians will rely on a number of call-ups to replace key players, namely Nolan Jones, a 22-year-old, multi-positional player who will probably either start in the outfield or at third base, moving Jose Ramirez to second (or shortstop).

The Indians are bringing back most of their corp and will see a number of major-league players ready to step up as well. The play of the rookies and other call ups will be what decides if this team is reloading or rebuilding, so it’s understandable the team wanted to get back to work as soon as possible.

At the end of the day, it won’t matter. Either these players are going to be ready or they’re not.

Next. Indians: 5 Christmas presents the team gave us this year. dark