2021 MiLB schedule announced with new-look structure originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
After sitting out the 2020 season due to COVID-19, Minor League Baseball is back in 2021 with a new-look structure.
Major League Baseball on Thursday announced the schedules for the upcoming minor league season. Twenty Triple-A teams will begin their 142-game campaigns on April 6, including the Iowa Cubs and Charlotte Knights, affiliated with the Cubs and White Sox. The remaining 10 clubs kick things off on April 8.
The Double-A and Single-A seasons are scheduled to begin on May 4, with both levels playing 120-game schedules.
MLB assumed control of the minor leagues this winter following the expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement. As part of the new agreement, the number of affiliate teams reduced from 160 to 120. There's also a new schedule structure based on geographic alignment that limits the number of total opponents a team will face this season.
All 120 Minor League Clubs offered an invitation to become Professional Development League license holders have officially agreed to accept. The teams will be part of a new model aimed to better serve fans, players & Clubs. pic.twitter.com/KEg5PcGgZa
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) February 12, 2021
For example, Iowa will only play six teams this season in the Triple-A East Midwest division: the Columbus Clippers (Indians), Indianapolis Indians (Pirates), Louisville Bats (Reds), Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), St. Paul Saints (Twins) and Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers).
In past seasons, as a member of the Pacific Coast League, Iowa made multiple trips to the West Coast.
More info on the schedules can be found here.
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