SWB RailRiders' season delayed until May

Conor Foley, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.
·6 min read

Mar. 3—After originally planning for an early-April opening day, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' season won't begin until May.

Major League Baseball notified Triple-A teams Tuesday that their 2021 seasons are delayed one month. Triple-A East will open

May 4 — the RailRiders will be on the road against the Syracuse Mets — while Triple-A West starts May 6. It lines up Triple-A with the start date for the rest of the minor leagues, and buys more time for coronavirus vaccines to take effect, which could get more people into ballparks and make travel safer for players.

The RailRiders' home opener is May 11 against Lehigh Valley, with the game time yet to be determined — a span of 613 days between SWB games at PNC Field. The lost April games will not be made up, and the regular season will end Sept. 19 as scheduled. That leaves the RailRiders with a 118-game slate, including 60 at home.

"Reaction at this point is pretty much what I said at the beginning: It is what it is," RailRiders president John Adams said. "I think we're all prepared mentally for changes, and this makes a lot of sense.

"I think as the information and news is getting out there that there will be a lot of vaccines distributed in March and April, I think the intention and the thought process is a lot of these minor leaguers will be able to get a vaccine in April and travel safely starting in May. I think it makes sense. We'd all like to be playing in April, but it makes sense."

The RailRiders lose 12 home games in April, all against the Worcester Red Sox, including what was supposed to be opening night April 4. Now, the Red Sox won't visit PNC Field until Aug. 3. SWB was also scheduled for road series

in Rochester and Buffalo

in the first month of the

season.

"April 6 was a date that it kind of didn't feel real, even though we had to prepare for it," Adams said. "But, yeah, my hot take on this is this feels like a really solid date and something we can put a pin in and get excited about."

Adams said the team isn't close to putting single-game tickets on sale, waiting to see what sort of capacity limits they'll be facing. Even at 20 percent, he said they wouldn't be able to fit all season-ticket holders in the park.

"Now, it kind of gives us hope that by the opener, we'll get even more people in there," Adams said.

For April, PNC Field will again serve as the New York Yankees' alternate training site, where extra players can stay ready in case they're needed in the Bronx.

While Triple-A was originally slated for an April start, the rest of the minor leagues weren't scheduled to begin until May. Most minor league players won't report to spring training sites until the big leaguers and Triple-A players leave. Now, they'll have a month to get ready in Florida and Arizona while Triple-A players stay warm at the alternate sites.

RailRiders' Revised 2021 Schedule

MAY

M4 at Syracuse

M5 at Syracuse

M6 at Syracuse

M7 at Syracuse

M8 at Syracuse

M9 at Syracuse

M11 Lehigh Valley

M12 Lehigh Valley

M13 Lehigh Valley

M14 Lehigh Valley

M15 Lehigh Valley

M16 Lehigh Valley

M18 at Rochester

M19 at Rochester

M20 at Rochester

M21 at Rochester

M22 at Rochester

M23 at Rochester

M25 Buffalo

M26 Buffalo

M27 Buffalo

M28 Buffalo

M29 Buffalo

M30 Buffalo

JUNE

J1 Lehigh Valley

J2 Lehigh Valley

J3 Lehigh Valley

J4 Lehigh Valley

J5 Lehigh Valley

J6 Lehigh Valley

J8 at Buffalo

J9 at Buffalo

J10 at Buffalo

J11 at Buffalo

J12 at Buffalo

J13 at Buffalo

J15 Syracuse

J16 Syracuse

J17 Syracuse

J18 Syracuse

J19 Syracuse

J20 Syracuse

J22 at Lehigh Valley

J23 at Lehigh Valley

J24 at Lehigh Valley

J25 at Lehigh Valley

J26 at Lehigh Valley

J27 at Lehigh Valley

J29 at Worcester

J30 at Worcester

JULY

J1 at Worcester

J2 at Worcester

J3 at Worcester

J4 at Worcester

J6 Syracuse

J7 Syracuse

J8 Syracuse

J9 Syracuse

J10 Syracuse

J11 Syracuse

J15 at Worcester

J16 at Worcester

J17 at Worcester

J18 at Worcester

J20 Rochester

J21 Rochester

J22 Rochester

J23 Rochester

J24 Rochester

J25 Rochester

J27 at Syracuse

J28 at Syracuse

J29 at Syracuse

J30 at Syracuse

J31 at Syracuse

AUGUST

A1 at Syracuse

A3 Worcester

A4 Worcester

A5 Worcester

A6 Worcester

A7 Worcester

A8 Worcester

A10 Lehigh Valley

A11 Lehigh Valley

A12 Lehigh Valley

A13 Lehigh Valley

A14 Lehigh Valley

A15 Lehigh Valley

A17 at Worcester

A18 at Worcester

A19 at Worcester

A20 at Worcester

A21 at Worcester

A22 at Worcester

A24 at Lehigh Valley

A25 at Lehigh Valley

A26 at Lehigh Valley

A27 at Lehigh Valley

A28 at Lehigh Valley

A29 at Lehigh Valley

A31 Buffalo

SEPTEMBER

S1 Buffalo

S2 Buffalo

S3 Buffalo

S4 Buffalo

S5 Buffalo

S7 Rochester

S8 Rochester

S9 Rochester

S10 Rochester

S11 Rochester

S12 Rochester

S14 at Lehigh Valley

S15 at Lehigh Valley

S16 at Lehigh Valley

S17 at Lehigh Valley

S18 at Lehigh Valley

S19 at Lehigh Valley

MAY

M1 Worcester

M2 Worcester

M4 at Syracuse

M5 at Syracuse

M6 at Syracuse

M7 at Syracuse

M8 at Syracuse

M9 at Syracuse

M11 Lehigh Valley

M12 Lehigh Valley

M13 Lehigh Valley

M14 Lehigh Valley

M15 Lehigh Valley

M16 Lehigh Valley

M18 at Rochester

M19 at Rochester

M20 at Rochester

M21 at Rochester

M22 at Rochester

M23 at Rochester

M25 Buffalo

M26 Buffalo

M27 Buffalo

M28 Buffalo

M29 Buffalo

M30 Buffalo

JUNE

J1 Lehigh Valley

J2 Lehigh Valley

J3 Lehigh Valley

J4 Lehigh Valley

J5 Lehigh Valley

J6 Lehigh Valley

J8 at Buffalo

J9 at Buffalo

J10 at Buffalo

J11 at Buffalo

J12 at Buffalo

J13 at Buffalo

J15 Syracuse

J16 Syracuse

J17 Syracuse

J18 Syracuse

J19 Syracuse

J20 Syracuse

J22 at Lehigh Valley

J23 at Lehigh Valley

J24 at Lehigh Valley

J25 at Lehigh Valley

J26 at Lehigh Valley

J27 at Lehigh Valley

J29 at Worcester

J30 at Worcester

JULY

J1 at Worcester

J2 at Worcester

J3 at Worcester

J4 at Worcester

J6 Syracuse

J7 Syracuse

J8 Syracuse

J9 Syracuse

J10 Syracuse

J11 Syracuse

J15 at Worcester

J16 at Worcester

J17 at Worcester

J18 at Worcester

J20 Rochester

J21 Rochester

J22 Rochester

J23 Rochester

J24 Rochester

J25 Rochester

J27 at Syracuse

J28 at Syracuse

J29 at Syracuse

J30 at Syracuse

J31 at Syracuse

AUGUST

A1 at Syracuse

A3 Worcester

A4 Worcester

A5 Worcester

A6 Worcester

A7 Worcester

A8 Worcester

A10 Lehigh Valley

A11 Lehigh Valley

A12 Lehigh Valley

A13 Lehigh Valley

A14 Lehigh Valley

A15 Lehigh Valley

A17 at Worcester

A18 at Worcester

A19 at Worcester

A20 at Worcester

A21 at Worcester

A22 at Worcester

A24 at Lehigh Valley

A25 at Lehigh Valley

A26 at Lehigh Valley

A27 at Lehigh Valley

A28 at Lehigh Valley

A29 at Lehigh Valley

A31 Buffalo

SEPTEMBER

S1 Buffalo

S2 Buffalo

S3 Buffalo

S4 Buffalo

S5 Buffalo

S7 Rochester

S8 Rochester

S9 Rochester

S10 Rochester

S11 Rochester

S12 Rochester

S14 at Lehigh Valley

S15 at Lehigh Valley

S16 at Lehigh Valley

S17 at Lehigh Valley

S18 at Lehigh Valley

S19 at Lehigh Valley

Contact the writer:

cfoley@timesshamrock.com;

570-348-9125;

@RailRidersTT on Twitter