On Monday, Ken Rosenthal reported that MLB is finalizing a plan to restructure the schedule for the Grapefruit League. The league is looking to split the state into separate groups of west-coast teams and east-coast teams, and while West Palm Beach is among the east-coast teams, the Houston Astros schedule is shrinking from 30 games to 24. Other games will be made up with intrasquad-type matchups.
The FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches announced they were selling limited tickets earlier this month that included social distanced pods. The ballpark is also home to the Washington Nationals.
With the Astros schedule changing, they will not face certain teams in Spring Training.
The east-coast of the Grapefruit League is home to less teams than the west-coast, which means the Astros will be facing up against reoccurring opponents. Those teams are the Washington Nationals, the Miami Marlins, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets. The Astros had already planned 24 of their 30 games against these teams meaning they were in a well-planned spot to lose six games.
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The Astros will not be playing the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. These matchups would’ve been played twice, once at home and once on the road. There hasn’t been anything announced whether refunds will be in place for those who bought tickets to these games, and from the looks of it, those games that still stand have not been reported as different dates.
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to Spring Training in less than 10 days, and as we inch closer, the Astros might wait out and evaluate their options for their unassigned needs. Pitching depth, a closer, and a centerfielder top their agenda as they hit workouts. The first pitchers and catchers workout is Feb. 18, while the first full squad workout is Feb. 22