Spring Training 2.0: Jays begin camp in Toronto ahead of 60-game season

Spring Training 2.0: Jays begin camp in Toronto ahead of 60-game season

Spring Training 2.0: Jays begin camp in Toronto ahead of 60-game season

Summer training camp kicked off quietly for the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday as most of the team returned to Rogers Centre to resume preparations for a shortened regular season while several players remained in Florida after another reported positive COVID-19 case.

Players were scheduled to participate in private workouts after arriving in the city a day earlier via team charter. The stadium was closed to media and the club did not schedule availabilities with players or management.

The Blue Jays would not confirm the latest positive COVID-19 case, first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who said those in contact with the player did not board the flight to Toronto. Multiple media outlets also reported the news, with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale saying 12 players remained in Dunedin, Fla., home of the club’s spring training facility.

The latest developments came two weeks after multiple Blue Jays players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19. The team had to shut down its Dunedin complex and personnel at the facility underwent testing per protocols established by Toronto’s medical team and Major League Baseball.

Players need to be cleared with two negative COVID-19 tests to join training camp. A team spokesman would not confirm how many players were in town, but said a second charter flight was expected to arrive later this week.

Canada’s lone MLB team received special permission from federal government and health authorities last week to train at Rogers Centre. Players and team staff will isolate from the general public in a closed environment at the stadium and hotel attached to the venue.

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro recently said that he would “expect a large number of positive tests” as more COVID-19 testing was completed as players and staffers reported to camp.

“That’s going to be part of the transition process into creating the closed environment as much as possible around our players,” he said on a June 26 conference call.

There has been a significant uptick in novel coronavirus cases throughout parts of the United States in recent weeks, including eyebrow-raising numbers coming out of Florida.

The state reported 6,336 new confirmed cases Monday. Ontario, meanwhile, reported just 154.

The Blue Jays’ 60-game regular-season schedule will begin July 24 in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the Tampa Bay Rays, MLB announced Monday night.

After a three-game series with the Rays and a two-game series in Washington, the Nationals also will provide the opposition for the Blue Jays in Toronto’s home opener on July 29.

The Blue Jays finish the season with seven in a row at home, capped by a Sept. 27 date against the Baltimore Orioles.

Most clubs are expected to play in their home stadiums this season, but Toronto faces an additional hurdle because of border and quarantine rules during the pandemic. The team has said it hopes to play home games at Rogers Centre, but that has not been finalized.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many Blue Jays trained at the stadium on Monday. Pitcher Nate Pearson posted a photo on Instagram of the empty ballpark — with retractable roof open — complete with the tagline “We made it!”

The team is expected to hold a conference call with manager Charlie Montoyo on Tuesday afternoon. Media access to the stadium will likely begin Wednesday.

Toronto was 12-6 in pre-season play this year before spring training was stopped in mid-March amid the widening coronavirus outbreak. The Blue Jays finished the 2019 season with a 67-95 record.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2020.

-With files from The Associated Press

___

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

Baseball

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 11 additional deaths over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Red Deer active COVID-19 cases drop slightly

Province reports 267 additional COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub is currently located in the Wetaskiwin Civic Building. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin business owners concerned over 24/7 Integrated Hub’s impact downtown

Downtown businesses have had loss of customers, threats, increased property damage and break-ins.

On Monday, Feb. 22, Island Health listed Glacier View Secondary on 241 Beacher Drive in Courtenay as having a COVID-19 exposure Feb. 17 and 18. Black Press file photo
Red Deer sets new COVID-19 case record

There are now 565 active cases in Red Deer

Wetaskiwin A&W partners with Mealshare. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin A&W partners with Mealshare

Every Monday will be Mealshare Monday at A&W; $1 from menu item donated.

Canadas public TikTok
TikTok connects Indigenous women during pandemic

By Chevi Rabbit Usage of the popular social media app TikTok increased… Continue reading

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo
Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Central Alberta man not criminally responsible for killing his father in 2020: judge

Psychiatrist testified Nicholas Johnson was psychotic when he killed his father

The cover of “Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care.” (Submitted)
Ponoka-born author writes history of old mental hospital

“Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care” covers 1911 to 1971

Todd Hirsch. (Image: screenshot)
ATB vice president gives financial forecast to Ponoka chamber

Predictions for reopening of the economy and recovery outlined

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

(Canada Post-Special To The News)
Ontario Canada Post worksite hit by major virus outbreak excluded from inspections

Just this year more than 300 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and one person has died

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH. (Pool/Getty Images/TNS)
Possibility of wearing masks into 2022 to defeat COVID-19: Dr. Fauci

Despite getting vaccinated, masks will be essential

Sarah Palmer holds up a swab before administering a COVID-19 test in late December. The state announced on Tuesday that a variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 had been detected in Alaska for the first time. (Photo by Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
Canada’s ‘long-haulers’ without family doctor need primary care: medical association

At least 10 per cent of COVID-19 patients are believed to suffer from symptoms months after their diagnosis

Most Read