Nolan Arenado, Adam Ottavino, More Support MLB's Reported Arizona Plan

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2020

Colorado Rockies' Nolan Arenado celebrates his two-run home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Rockies defeated the Cubs 11-10. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

While Major League Baseball is pumping the brakes on any formal plan for the regular season to begin, players have begun speaking out in favor of the reported proposal that would sequester players in Arizona.

"If it's safe, I'm in," Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said, per Patrick Saunders the Denver Post. "I believe these ideas wouldn't be thrown around if it wasn't approved or [can't] be [approved]. I want to get back out there and play."

New York Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino shared a similar sentiment. 

"I don't have any good insight, but I would be in the camp of supporting the idea," Ottavino said, per to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. "I'm sure a lot would have to go right for it to actually happen, but I'm hoping it can work because I want to play."

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Monday that MLB is exploring beginning the regular season in May or June at a centralized Arizona location. Both MLB and the union have been in consultation with federal health officials, who are advising on the feasibility of the plan.

The proposal would call for several major changes to baseball, including the implementation of a digital strike zone. Players would also be sequestered when they are not playing games and forced to sit in the stands, six feet apart, rather than in dugouts. Games would also be played as seven-inning doubleheaders.

MLB released a statement Tuesday saying several plans have been under consideration: 

"MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so. While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan.

"While we continue to interact regularly with governmental and public health officials, we have not sought or received approval of any plan from federal, state and local officials, or the Players Association. The health and safety of our employees, players, fans and the public at large are paramount, and we are not ready at this time to endorse any particular format for staging games in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the coronavirus."

MLB shut down all operations in March as the pandemic took hold in the United States. It's unclear if MLB would plan to continue with a 162-game schedule. 

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