MLB releases 2020 schedule; Blue Jays open vs. Rays

Hazel Mae is joined by MLB insiders Shi Davidi & Ben Nicholson-Smith as they analyze the Blue Jays 2020 schedule. Plus, they shed light on the challenges still facing the Blue Jays and MLB to get season underway.

Major League Baseball has released its schedule for the 60-game 2020 season, with opening day set for July 23. The Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers face the San Francisco Giants in the only two games set for that date.

The Toronto Blue Jays will open on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 24.

Each team will play 10 games against its four division opponents and 20 total games against the five clubs in the corresponding regional division in the other league (i.e. the Blue Jays and their fellow AL East teams will face the NL East teams).

The Blue Jays have faced some unique challenges in returning to play due to the closed border between Canada and the United States. As a result of that, it remains unclear for now where the Blue Jays will play their home games this season.

“While no final decision has been made on a site for Blue Jays regular season home games, the club’s preference remains Rogers Centre,” the team said in a statement Monday.

Rule changes in effect for the 2020 campaign include the universal designated hitter, the three-batter minimum for relief pitchers and extra innings beginning with a runner on second base.

The trade deadline will be Aug. 31 and the deadline to be in an organization for post-season eligibility is Sept. 15.

Active rosters will consist of 30 players during the first two weeks of the season, 28 during the second two weeks and 26 after that. They will not expand to 28 on Sept. 1, as originally intended this year.

With no minor leagues, teams will each be allowed to retain 60 players, including a taxi squad of up to three players, one of whom must be a catcher.

Ben Nicholson-Smith is Sportsnet’s baseball editor. Arden Zwelling is a senior writer. Together, they bring you the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league, covering off all the latest news with opinion and analysis, as well as interviews with other insiders and team members.

The injured list minimum for pitchers will remain 10 days rather than revert to 15, as initially intended. The 60-day injured list will be a 45-day list this year and there will be a new COVID-19 injured list for players who test positive, are exposed to the virus or exhibit symptoms.

A number of players have already decided to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns about COVID-19, with several more admitting they remain undecided on whether or not to play.

With files from The Associated Press

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