Even as problems with cases of players testing positive for coronavirus, players opting out, and issues with the testing itself, Major League Baseball on Monday presented the schedule for the upcoming 60-game season.
On a special on MLB Network, the abbreviated 2020 schedule was released. The season will start on July 23, for four teams. The New York Yankees will play the Washington Nationals at 4:00 p.m. Pacific, in a matchup we already knew was happening. The Los Angeles Dodgers will play the San Francisco Giants at 7:00 p.m. Pacific on the same day, at Dodger Stadium. Clayton Kershaw will be the Opening Day starter, for his ninth Opening Day nod.
The other anticipated pairing, the return of the Houston Astros to Chavez Ravine, will be September 12 and 13.
As previously stated, the Dodgers will play 10 games each against their division rivals and four games against each of the five teams in the American League West.
The season will start with three exhibition games for the Dodgers, two against the Arizona Diamondbacks July 19 and 20, and one against the Los Angeles Angels on July 21, all at home.
They then will play a four-game set against the Giants for the first official games of the season at home before heading to Houston for two games, Arizona for four games, and San Diego for a three-game set at Petco Park.
Starting August 7, the Boys in Blue will start a rough stretch of 17 straight games. They will be back home for six games, three against San Francisco and three against San Diego. They then will play in Anaheim against the Angels. After a quick two game set back at Dodger Stadium against the Seattle Mariners, they then fly to Seattle for another two-game set, before coming back home for a three game set against the Colorado Rockies.
After that rough stretch, the Dodgers do not have to go further than Colorado. They finish the season at home against the Rockies and Angels.
One notable item about the schedule is the games are earlier than normal, with most games starting at either 6:10 or 6:40 Pacific. (Good for East Coast fans such as myself).
In other news around the Dodgers universe, the team announced today that pitcher Jimmy Nelson will undergo lower-back surgery Tuesday. Dr Robert Watkins will perform the lower lumbar surgery. Nelson signed a one year contract with the Dodgers over the winter after having been injured many times previously. The Dodgers have a $2 million club option for 2021, with a $500K buyout.
Right-handed pitchers AJ Ramos and Clayton Beeter were added to the Dodgers 60-man player pool. Ramos signed a minor league contract last week, and Beeter was drafted from the supplemental 2nd round draft pick in the 2020 MLB draft. The Dodgers still have eight spots left in their player pool.