Clarke Schmidt
AP Photo/Mike Janes

New York Yankees pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt praises the ballclub for keeping a high communication level amid the league shutdown.

It’s a weird time right now for Major League Baseball teams. At this point, players, coaches, and just about everyone else thought the 2020 campaign would be in full swing. They expected to be undergoing the first full month of the regular season.

Instead, everyone is home with their families, socially distancing themselves amid the COVID-19 pandemic but still preparing for the season, regardless of its start date. It’s certainly forced ballclubs to alter their communication and the way they keep in touch with players. This may be tough for some teams, but not the New York Yankees, at least according to pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt.

“They’ve been awesome with communicating with us,” he said, per Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media. “There’s not like a two-day or three-day period that goes on where I’m not talking to someone with the staff, whether it’s [pitching coach Matt] Blake or it’s [head trainer Tim Lentych] or Brad Hyde, the strength coach. Everybody’s staying in contact.

“It’s just making the process as easy as possible because there’s so much unknown. It’s one of those things where, any bit of information can help. The pitchers in camp, we have a Google Doc. Whatever you’re doing, whatever you threw that day or whatever you were planning to throw that week, you put it in the Google doc and edit it under your name. Blake or a pitching coach will check in on us. That’s the way it’s going right now. They put out a tentative throwing program that you can follow or you can do your own thing, whatever you feel is comfortable for yourself.”

It’s a drastic change that every team has to go through right now, and it’s truly unclear how long the entire process will be.

In March, the league canceled the rest of spring training and delayed Opening Day by two weeks, making the start date April 9. That quickly changed though, as Opening Day will now be mid-May at the earliest.

Some believe the season may not commence until June or July, but according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the league and the players union are actually working out a plan to start the season next month. The campaign would be a whole lot different though. All 30 teams would play fan-less games in Arizona, with players and coaches living in hotels and only traveling to and from the stadiums, succumbing to separation from their families.

It’s a strange and unique time in baseball right now, and it could certainly become even more eye-popping as time progresses.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.