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Our Noticias, 4/29/20: MLB season optimism; JJ Bleday Q&A; Puerto Rico

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Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Major League Baseball expecting 2020 season...in some form

Separate reports this week from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale sort through some of the variations being discussed for an abbreviated MLB season as well as the obstacles that still loom, ranging from health to compensation. The realistic best-case scenario for Opening Day is late June/early July. Players would expect approximately one month of advance notice to report to their teams and get their conditioning/timing back.

It’s encouraging, but frankly not worth analyzing any further until all parties focus their attention on a specific plan.

MLB refunds imminent

As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, MLB is putting each team in charge of creating their own ticket refund policy for the 2020 regular season. Further details are only days away, Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports adds.

This turn of events has been especially deflating for the Marlins, who made significant tweaks to their roster and ballpark experience with the goal of rebounding from embarrassingly low attendance the previous two seasons. Now, even the most optimistic MLB decision-makers concede that the updated schedule would need to be far fewer than 162 games and fans won’t be admitted.

I imagine that they’ll make efforts to rollover preseason sales as credit to be used for 2021 tickets, rather than issuing traditional full refunds to everybody. Inevitably, though, there are bound to be plenty of fans who insist on the latter to help them endure COVID-19-related unemployment or other financial hardships.

Q&A with Marlins top outfield prospect

Miami Marlins Workout Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Last year’s first-round draft pick JJ Bleday spent nearly an hour on the latest Sev & Geff Live episode reflecting on his collegiate career and first taste of professional baseball and describing how he has kept himself occupied during the delayed season. Bleday also went out of his way to applaud Derek Jeter’s actions as Marlins CEO and thank veteran players like Corey Dickerson for assisting him during Spring Training.

The Vanderbilt product slashed .257/.311/.379 (107 wRC+) in 38 games with High-A Jupiter in 2019. Bleday is a consensus top-five prospect in the loaded Marlins farm system who’s on track to arrive in the majors at some point during the 2021 campaign.

Walk-off links

  • Beginning at 1 p.m. today and taking place again every Wednesday throughout the month on May, there will be weekly drive-thru food distributions on the east side of Marlins Park at the Humana Lot (1390 NW 6th St, Miami, FL, 33125).
  • League insiders Craig Mish and Jon Heyman report that the MLB Draft is expected to begin on June 10 as originally scheduled. The precise number of rounds hasn’t been finalized, though.
  • Well deserved: the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp were voted champions of the Diamond Digest Best Minor League Team Name Tournament.
  • Joe Frisaro of MLB.com ranks Cliff Floyd as his top left fielder in Marlins history. Marcell Ozuna gets the second spot behind Floyd despite manning center field for most of his Marlins career. So apparently Christian Yelich—longtime left fielder—is eligible for the center fielder’s list? We’ll get some clarification from Frisaro next week.
  • This week was supposed to be the Marlins’ trip to Puerto Rico, so with that in mind, our Games of the Decade series takes you back to the last time they hosted a series on the island.
  • FOX Sports Florida’s Marlins All-Access checks in with shortstop Miguel Rojas, who shares his detailed account of what it was like at spring camp on the day that the season officially came to a halt.