Cleveland Indians back at Progressive Field for Spring Training 2.0

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Spring training 2.0 is officially underway for the Cleveland Indians at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario Streets. 

The only player missing at the ballpark Friday was outfielder Delino DeShields who tested positive for COVID-19. He is recovering at home in Arizona.

“He has had very mild symptoms, at this point the only thing he’s had is a diminished sense of taste and smell,” said Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti.

The Indians along with Major League Baseball have set up a code of conduct for players to follow during this pandemic. Guys like Carlos Carrasco have to be extra careful, the Indians pitcher battled Luekemia last season and is considered high-risk.

“I’m here, I think that is what is most important. I just found out everything with my medical staff and my doctor, so I’m cleared to play baseball,” said Carrasco.

Shane Bieber was scheduled to be the Indians starting pitcher on Opening Day back in March. The schedule lines up for him now to likely be the Opening Day starter four months later as the Indians begin a 60-game season.

“It means a lot, it means the same that it did three or fourth months ago,” said Bieber.  “Obviously it’s different, different circumstances and I’ve had to wait a little bit longer in anticipation but it will mean that much more when it comes.”

Despite the shortened season, the game will still be the same but it will look a lot different. There are plenty of new rules for playing during a pandemic, including playing the game without fans in attendance.

“It’s pretty quiet, whenever a baseball is hit it echoes like crazy. You can hear everybody talking, you can hear everybody moving, it’s just a whole completely different environment,” said Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin.

Baseball is usually a marathon of a season with plenty of ups and downs, but this year, there won’t be a lot of time, it will be a sprint to the finish.

“The quicker we can find the rhythm, the better we will be,” said Indians Manager Terry Francona.

The Indians schedule has not been released, but Antonetti said that the Indians are preparing to open up the season with 17 straight games.  

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