FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Come April 12, Parkview Field will be open and the Fort Wayne TinCaps will be trotting out to the diamond for the team’s home opener – no matter what the big leaguers are doing by then.
Major League Baseball’s current lockout situation is not expected to affect the season for the TinCaps, according to team officials.
The TinCaps, the High-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, will start the 132-game season on the road in Dayton on April 8. There are 66-home games scheduled and tickets are on sale now.
The only hiccup that might affect a minor league team is a major league team’s 40-man roster – which is a major league team’s 26 players eligible to play in a game plus a combination of players on the injured list and some minor leaguers who can be called up.
The minor leaguers on a 40-man roster are typically assigned to clubs at levels higher than High-A – usually Double-A or Triple-A.
Those currently on a 40-man roster are considered part of the Major League Baseball Players Association union, and even if they are minor leaguers, they are part of the lockout and cannot join their minor league clubs.
Theoretically, this rule might open up spots for players to get experience at higher levels – such as a Double-A player moving up to take a spot on a Triple-A club that is without someone on the 40-man roster.
But that is all speculative.
Minor league rosters are not set until right before the season begins, and any impact the 40-man roster rule might have on the TinCaps – such as a player who might’ve started the season in Low-A ball but gets a chance in High-A instead – would be minimal, if at all.
“There could be a trickle down affect, but at our level we’d be comparing, say, a 21-year-old to a 22-year-old,” said John Nolan, team spokesman and radio announcer. “The talent would be comparable, especially to the average fan. And even a baseball savant would probably not notice a difference.”