LA Angels players deciding between three options during coronavirus break

What we know so far about how the Los Angeles Angels are deciding to spend their time during the coronavirus break.

Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler, speaking to reporters for the first time since Major League Baseball paused in response to the coronavirus, said players are in the process of choosing between three options of where to stay until baseball returns to normal activities, the timing of which is unknown. Players are expected to make their decisions known within the next 24 hours.

Following the guidance issued by the Players Association earlier in the day, Angels players can stay in Tempe, relocate to Anaheim, or return to their home cities to be with family.

Billy Eppler told reporters the organization will have a limited crew of staff remaining at the club’s Spring Training facility in Tempe, where resources, such as medical staff and coaching, will be made available. For players returning to Anaheim, team resources at Angel Stadium will also be available.

Shohei Ohtani, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, will not be shut down by the team during the break. It will be up to Ohtani to decide on the specifics of his throwing schedule, whether he changes his regular routine or not, but Eppler said: “I have a feeling I know that answer.”

New manager Joe Maddon is expected to stay in Tempe or return to Anaheim.

Late on Friday, Major League Baseball announced that Spring Training camps will be suspended, echoing the three options offered to the players on where to locate that were issued by the Players Association earlier in the day. Meanwhile, individual teams are beginning to make their own decisions. On Friday afternoon, the Yankees voted unanimously to remain in Tampa and continue to work out.

At this point, it seems pretty obvious that the season will start later than the initial two-week delay announced by Major League Baseball. Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes (video above) a second Spring Training will be necessary before games resume again, adding more time to when the regular season begins. As Sherman puts it, “the longer they are out, the longer Spring Training will be.” Players returning from the work stopage in 1995 participated in a three week Spring Training before starting a 144-game schedule.

Next: On this Date in 1981: Angels sign Rick Burleson

Check back for more as information becomes available.

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