Last week we began to see a few teams open up their spring training complexes in Florida for players to come in and get some work in, in limited and restricted manner. The Miami Marlins opened up their spring training complex last week according to Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. Tampa Bay was set to open their ballpark in St. Pete on Monday according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Cincinnati Reds are now joining them, sort of.
Earlier today Luis Castillo posted a photo on instagram of himself at Great American Ballpark on the field. It got some people talking.
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A little bit later Mark Sheldon of Reds.com reported that both Great American Ballpark and the spring training complex in Arizona are open to the players…. who live in the city in which the complex exists. Players are still not allowed to travel to either Cincinnati or Phoenix to begin working at the ballpark. The players that live there, though, can now head to the facility.
What they can do while at the facility is limited, and Sheldon covers it in his article (linked above). He notes that only two players live in Cincinnati (or at least have been living in Cincinnati) right now – Jesse Winker and Luis Castillo. There’s not a list of players who are still in Arizona, though we do know that there are some. Derek Dietrich and Trevor Bauer have famously been having live batting practice sessions against each other in the greater Phoenix area over the last few weeks.
While there’s still plenty of negotiating to do between the owners and the players, steps are being made to get players back into proper facilities. Even that, though, is still a work-in-progress – but things are moving forward a little bit and right now, that beats the alternative.