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’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. announces signage along Alberta border to discourage non-essential travel

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Alberta begins rolling out AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for those aged 40 or older

There are more than 70 pharmacies offering AstraZeneca, including 26 offering walk-in appointments

A child writes in their school notebook during a home schooling session in Cremona, Alta., Monday, March 23, 2020, amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of students in Calgary will shift to online learning as of today in a bid to curb rising COVID-19 infection rates in the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Online classes begin for some Alberta students amid rising COVID-19 cases

Alberta currently has the highest rate of active COVID-19 cases in the country

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

sign
Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

Most Read