Even with Major League Baseball locked out, minor league teams are set to begin their seasons on time and play more games than previously.
This past week, Minor League Baseball announced that six additional games will be added to the 2022 Triple-A season, expanding the slate from 144 games to 150. The change was made to help Triple-A “better align with the Major League season and push the end date of the minor league campaign to September 28.”
The Triple-A regular season was originally scheduled to run from Tuesday, April 5 to Wednesday, September 21 this year. That start time marks six days after MLB’s currently scheduled Opening Day with an end time roughly a week and a half before the conclusion of the Major League season. With the expanded schedule, Triple-A games will now end a full week later – just four days before the end of the MLB regular season.
Due the coronavirus pandemic, the beginning the 2021 season was delayed until May and Triple-A schedules were cut down to 120 games. Now in MLB’s first full season operating the league, the 150-game schedule will be the longest for any minor league team since 1964. International League teams once played 154 games that season, while Pacific Coast League clubs played 156.
Major League Baseball officially took over operation from the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues last year, eliminating the separate governing body of minor league baseball along with 40 affiliations. As part of adjustments made, each Triple-A team’s schedule featured one six-game series and one off-day per week. Previously it resembled the MLB schedule, with three and four-game series and off-days scattered throughout the year. However, changes were made to reduce travel and give teams a dedicated day to do so.
For White Sox affiliates, here’s a look at their currently scheduled Opening Day match-ups:
- Triple-A: Charlotte Knights at Norfolk Tides (April 5, 5:35 p.m. CT)
- Double-A: Birmingham Barons vs. Rocket City Trash Pandas (April 8, TBD)
- High-A: Winston-Salem Dash vs. Hickory Crawdads (April 8, 6:00 p.m. CT)
- Low-A: Kannapolis Cannonballers vs. Fayetteville Woodpeckers (April 8, TBD)
As we get closer to minor league camps and hopefully a resolution at the major league level, we will continue providing updates on our social media @SoxOn35th!
Featured Photo: Laura Wolff Photography/Charlotte Knights