River Cats

File photo/Kerensa Uyeta-Buckley

The Sacramento River Cats, pictured here competing in 2019, will not have a season this year, but the Giants Taxi Squad will utilize Sutter Health Park starting this week.

Recently, Minor League Baseball (MiLB) announced that Major League Baseball (MLB) would not be providing its affiliated Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season. As a result, the minor league baseball season was officially cancelled. The Sacramento River Cats will have to wait until the 2021 season to begin their Triple-A Championship defense.

In addition, the Giants announced July 15 that they would be sending their “Taxi Squad” players to Sacramento for workouts and scrimmages. Similar to a minor league team, the “Taxi Squad” would be a group of roughly 30 players who are working out in order to contribute to the Major League club if injuries or other situations arise where a player would need to be called up. It would also allow teams to play their top prospects, so they do not lose valuable developmental time.

“Baseball is back!” noted River Cats general manager, Chip Maxson. “Just like our fans, we would love to be playing a full River Cats season; however, we are grateful for this opportunity to host the Giants Taxi Squad and look forward to seeing baseball at Sutter Health Park next week. Our goal is to understand what opportunities may be available for our members, partners and fans to share in this experience with us, whether a televised broadcast, virtually or, hopefully, in person, and then communicate all of the options as they become available.”

“We are very excited to call Sutter Health Park our 2020 alternate spring training home and are very grateful to the River Cats and to the city of West Sacramento for working with us to provide a safe location and environment for our players and staff,” said Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi.

Giants players began a summer camp on July 3 at Oracle Park and will officially open the 2020 season on July 23 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Taxi Squad roster is still to be determined but players will begin training at Sutter Health Park next week. Prior to any workouts, the River Cats and Giants are collaborating on a COVID-19 Action Plan, consistent with the MLB 2020 Operations Manual, that sets a guideline for the efficient and effective response to a suspected case of COVID-19 during the 2020 baseball season.

Whether or not fans will be able to attend practices or scrimmages is still uncertain. All public events will still need to adhere to local and state COVID-19 safety mandates.

– Sacramento River Cats