Milwaukee Brewers players will begin arriving at Miller Park in the coming days with intake testing for COVID-19 beginning Wednesday. Players will then undergo the usual physical exams prior to taking the field for the first full-squad workouts on July 4.
“It’s exciting for all of us to be able to talk about a season,” said Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns on Friday. “We know it’s going to be an unusual season and a different looking season. But it’s going to be a baseball season nonetheless. That’s something that is meaningful to all of us.
“We have a lot of work left to do. There are going to be many changes we’ll face going forward to get through this season. But this is a positive start.”
Stearns told reporters in a Zoom webinar that their biggest challenge will be to keep the players safe and healthy.
“We very much recognize how contagious this virus is. So, we are putting in a number of precautions. By now, everyone or most people have seen the 100-plus page operations manual. We’re going to follow everything in there and do everything we can to educate our players on how they can remain healthy, and how we can put ourselves in the best position to succeed in this environment.”
The Brewers have already had individuals test positive for COVID-19. Stearns didn’t say if they were players or staff members, but said they had no outward symptoms.
“They are asymptomatic and they’re doing well,” said Stearns.
The Brewers are set to bring 45 players to Miller Park to compete for spots on the 30-man opening day roster. Those rosters will drop to 28 players two weeks into the season and then down to 26 players two weeks after that.
Teams can have a total of 60 players around for workouts, with those who don’t make the opening day roster assigned to a “taxi squad” and used as a potential replacement pool. That extra group of players will work out in Appleton (Fox Cities Stadium) at the team’s Class A facility.
That camp will include some younger prospects who aren’t ready to play in the big leagues this year, but will be able to continue their development.
The season will start either July 23rd or 24th for the Brewers. They’ll play 40 games against teams from the NL Central and another 20 against AL Central teams.