FORT MYERS, Fla. — Major League Baseball will delay the Triple A season for a month and bring back “alternate training sites” for reserve players.
The Triple A season would start the first week of May, the same time as Double A and Single A. The April 1 start of the MLB season would not change.
“This is a prudent step to complete the major league and minor league seasons as safely as possible and we look forward to having fans back in ballparks across the country very soon,” an MLB spokesman told the Globe Tuesday.
The decision has long been expected by MLB teams. The hope is the delay will allow for players to be vaccinated before they are demoted to the minors and for Triple A teams to start their in-season travel when more of the general populace has been vaccinated.
Major league teams can have as many as 75 players in spring training with 28 on the Opening Day roster.
Some of the remaining 47 players would be shifted to the alternate site with the others attending minor league spring training in April.
Players at the alternate site would remain subject to coronavirus testing and protocols.
The Red Sox used McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I., as their alternate site last season. Their Triple A affiliate is now located in Worcester at new Polar Park, which had been set for an April 13 opening.
It’s all but certain the Red Sox would use Worcester as their alternate site.
Worcester’s season will now open May 4 with the home opener on May 11. The Woo Sox will lose 24 games, 12 that would have been at home with 12 percent capacity allowed by the state.
Michael Silverman contributed to this report from Boston.