The Indians, who finished with 93 wins last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2015, start, are working to get everyone into Cleveland to start spring training and will test every player for COVID-19 as players return to Cleveland.
“We’re working to get everyone here and our expectation is to get everyone here as scheduled,” Indians team president Chris Antonetti said. “We’re in the process of working through in-take testing and that process started on Friday (June 26). We’re now getting back results (of the test) and as of now there are no positive results.”
Cleveland will begin its spring training on July 3 with players most of the players training at Progressive Field, while the younger players (Single-A and Double-A players) will train at Classic Park in Lake County. Players will be tested on returning to the playing field and will follow state-mandated guidelines.
“There have not been any changes to protocols; the vast majority of the guidelines is to slow down the spread of the virus within our facilities,” Antonetti said. “They are portions of the protocols that due talk about the behavior away from the ballpark, but that’s a small percentage of the protocols once they get to the ballpark.
“It’s a great reminder that if we let is guard down, the virus has a chance to take hold and spread through our group.”
The Indians have five roster spots available for their 60-man spring training roster. The team isn’t in a rush to sign players to fill out the five remaining spots.
“We do expect to fill the final five rosters spots … exactly how will fill those final spots we’ll take a little time to sorts those through,” Antonetti said. “There may be some players will bring in outside the organization and let’s see if we need to get depth for our Major League roster.”
Antonetti noted the flexibility of not filling out the final five roster spots due to signing players for their developmental team in Lake County. That group of players will play inter-squad games against each other during spring training. Once the final roster is set, players who don’t make the big league club to start the season will play in simulated games in Lake County.
The five final roster spots could also go to the players the Indians took in the 2020 MLB Draft back in mid-June.
“Everyone is healthy and ready to go on July 3,” Antonetti said.