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Marlins Return to the Field for Team Workouts Ahead of Opening Season

MLB: Miami Marlins-Workouts Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt that many professional sports have endured what can only be called a rather challenging 2020. As a growing number of teams will be competing in the near future, players and management alike will need to make a handful of adjustments. The Miami Marlins (as well as all other Major League Baseball teams) will once again be allowed to train ahead of a season that is expected to begin sometime during the latter half of July. What might such a hiatus from the diamond mean for professional teams? Are there any specific approaches that management should adopt in order to ensure that players adapt accordingly? Let’s take a look at what is in store for the Marlins.

Starting Off Slow

It has been reported that at least 41 players will be able to begin training at Marlins Park. The remaining prospects will report to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium (their spring training site) as per usual. Interestingly enough, their initial sessions will focus more upon live batting practices than traditional drills such as base running. This is partially due to the fact that the team will be required to adhere to specific social distancing rules. It is likely that their sessions will also be staggered to avoid larger groups of players congregating at the same time.

We can clearly see that certain adjustments will have to be made. However, this is all in a day’s work for manager Don Mattingly. This might still present a bit of a challenge, as inter-squad games are not yet permitted.

More Challenges Than Meet the Eye

While Marlins players may have had to enjoy other online games such as those offered by comeongames.com, they will soon be returning to the real world. This arises from the fact that many traditional rules of baseball have been modified or done away with altogether. For example, licking one’s fingers before lining up at the plate is no longer allowed. Spitting and even wiping the sweat away from one’s face are also tightly regulated. This will be no easy task when we consider that Miami temperatures are often sweltering during July and August. Other issues such as limited weight room access and the wearing of face masks when not exercising are some other stipulations that are likely to require a fair amount of getting accustomed to.

Mattingly seems to be taking a balanced approach, as he fully appreciates that getting back into the swing of things could be slightly tricky in the beginning. However, the pressure will still be on. Assuming that the MLB season does indeed commence in late July, the Marlins only have a handful of weeks to get their talents in order before once again walking back out onto the diamond (albeit with a limited live fan base).

It will be interesting to see how Mattingly copes with such challenges as well as if the players are able to return to their normal rhythm. Of course, only time will determine the ultimate outcome.