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Minors unaffected by MLB lockout

Even if Major League Baseball doesn’t play games next season because of its lockout, there will be a minor league season.

That means there will be Curve games, for local baseball fans who may have been worried about repercussions of the sport’s work stoppage.

“Pretty much everyone has told us that our season is proceeding as normal,” Curve general manager Nate Bowen said.

Why is that?

The lockout only affects members of the MLB Players Association, which includes major leaguers and all members of an organization’s 40-man roster.

Minor league players are not members of the union, at least those minor leaguers who aren’t on a 40-man roster.

“The 40-man roster players would not be able to play, but the rest of the minor league season would continue as normal,” Bowen said.

Given what minor league baseball endured in 2020, when the season was canceled because of the pandemic, it is wonderful news to the 120 minor league franchises that could ill afford all or part of another season without games.

“Fortunately, we don’t really have to talk about that, but it would be difficult if we didn’t play for sure,” Bowen said.

“The whole thing is more reassuring, and I guess we’re in a much better position this year for sure than even going into the 2021 season from a standpoint we do have a schedule and times for all the games. Even though we knew we were going to be playing in 2021, we just didn’t know when or what it was going to look like.”

What will next season look like, then, from a Curve perspective?

Pretty much business as usual.

About the only major change will be that the Curve couldn’t have 40-man roster players on the team, but they usually have very few of those anyway. Now, it also could mean that some prospects who should be in Double-A might have to be sent to Triple-A early to fill those rosters, which usually rely pretty heavily on 40-man roster guys.

“Everything we’ve been told is that player development is still happening,” Bowen said.

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