Start of Chihuahuas Season to be Delayed Until May 6th
Spring Training is underway for Major League Baseball, but do not expect to see any Triple A games until at least early May. MLB sent a memo to all 30 clubs that they would delay the start of Triple-A East games until May 4th and Triple-A West games until May 6th. For the El Paso Chihuahuas, that means they will begin 2021 in Tacoma and host Albuquerque on March 13th for their home opener.
"The good news is that we can still look forward to Chihuahuas baseball this season," Chihuahuas general manager Brad Taylor told 600 ESPN El Paso.
What this essentially means is that the entire month of April and the first week of May have been scrapped with no plans to make up those 24 games at the present time. MLB did alter the Triple-A schedule for July, by adding a pair of games on the 12th and 13th. Originally teams had a three-day break due to the MLB All Star Game. As it currently stands, the Triple A schedule will be 120 games, and no word yet on whether a postseason will be held.
While MLB teams begin their 2021 season on time on April 1st, most Triple A players will be in alternate sites the entire month of April. Since El Paso is not close in proximity to San Diego, it is highly unlikely that Southwest University Park will be used as an alternate site. ESPN's Jeff Passan reported yesterday that MLB might continue to use their alternate sites and further delay the start of the season if players have not been vaccinated by May 1st. The concern would involve non-vaccinated Triple A players needing to quarantine before joining their MLB affiliate, since they would have to fly commercial in order to meet up with their team. The alternate sites are much closer in proximity than some Triple A cities, so Chihuahuas players would be able to drive to Petco Park rather than have to fly to San Diego from a city like El Paso, for example.