MLB preseason begins – ZETA

More than twenty Mexican players will be in the training fields of the Major Leagues. The team with the greatest presence of compatriots are the current champions, Los Angeles Dodgers, with pitchers Julio Urías, Víctor González and Gerardo Carrillo. Tijuana receiver Alex Kirk goes for his chance with the Toronto Blue Jays

After several months, Major League Baseball (MLB) is back. Unlike the previous season, when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the schedule to 60 games and with empty stadiums, 2021 is looming in a better light.

To begin with, starting on Wednesday, February 17, pitchers and receivers were reported to training fields in Arizona and Florida, and on Monday, February 22, all Major League Baseball organizations will work with their entire teams.

The Major League Baseball office also announced the dates on which each team will have its first exhibition game with the full team, a schedule that could be subject to eventual changes and starts on Sunday 28. The regular season will begin on April 1, with a schedule of 162 games.

One of the main novelties is that games with university teams, which are not subject to the protocols of Major League teams, were suspended and duels between formations of the same team were eliminated.

On the other hand, Florida teams will be able to dress in their concentrations and travel with the uniform on to facilitate distancing. Novenas in Arizona traditionally dress in their own fields and do batting practice there before each road game.

Additionally, MLB made changes to its preseason as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, reducing travel for Florida teams in an effort to limit contagion risks. They were divided into three groups to shorten long bus trips:

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East Coast: Houston Astros, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals.

West Coast: Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays.

Southwest: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore, Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay Rays.

MEXICANS IN ACTION

After the 30 major league organizations protected minor leaguers for at least four years on their farms, 20 Mexican players are on the roster of 40 on their respective teams. Being part of this select group in an MLB organization, gives a player a firm step towards his debut in the best baseball in the world, since they go to the spring training as a guest, looking for a place in the roster at the beginning of the season, and failing that, it will be among the closest pieces to be called at any time to the “Big Show”.

Before the deadline to protect players and in the face of the Draft of Rule 5, the tapatio pitcher Gerardo Carrillo was added to the roster of 40 Los Angeles Dodgers. The other Mexican player on the 40-year roster who has yet to make his Major League debut is Manuel “Bolón” Rodríguez, who awaits his chance in 2021 with the Chicago Cubs. The other 18 protected Mexicans have already played in the majors.

Julio Urías

The 20 protected Mexicans are distributed in 16 different organizations, so 14 MLB teams do not have nationals on their main roster. In addition to the “protected”, Oliver Pérez, Roberto Osuna, Joakim Soria and Sergio Romo were as free agents, but Soria signed with the Arizona Diamonds and Romo with the Oakland Athletics.

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The team with the greatest presence of nationals will be the current champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers, with pitchers Julio Urías, Víctor González and Carrillo. Houston Astros will have two, pitchers Humberto Castellanos and José Urquidy; and also with a pair, Chicago White Sox appear with pitcher Bernardo Flores and outfielder Luis González; the infielder Ramón Urías with Baltimore Orioles; outfielder Alex Verdugo with the Boston Red Sox; pitcher Luis Cessa with New York Yankees; the infielder Isaac Paredes with Detroit Tigers; pitcher Gerardo Reyes with the Los Angeles Angels; pitcher Andrés Muñoz with the Seattle Mariners; pitcher Victor Arano with the Philadelphia Phillies; receiver Tres Barrera with Washington Nationals; pitcher Manuel Rodríguez with the Chicago Cubs; infielder Luis Urías with the Milwaukee Brewers; pitcher Giovanny Gallegos with the San Luis Cardinals; the infielder Phillip Evans with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tijuana receiver Alejandro Kirk.

Kirk, ranked among MLB’s top prospects, is already in Florida training to earn a start with the Blue Jays. “Small steps also lead to big goals,” the young player recently noted on his account. Twitter.

In September 2020, “Captain Kirk” made his Major League debut, becoming the ninth Tijuana native to do so and the 136th Mexican in history. On Monday, September 21, he hit four hits in four at-bats, in addition to his first home run. He was only the fifth Mexican catcher to hit a major league home run after Alex Treviño, Gerónimo Gil, Miguel Ojeda and Humberto Cota.

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