Edwin Encarnacion is just like baseball fans right now.
He doesn't know when the game he loves will be back.
But the White Sox designated hitter is staying prepared the best he can so he's ready to go once players get the call that it's time to head back to work.
"I've been getting ready," he said during a Wednesday conference call. "I don't know what's going to happen. … I've been working and doing the things I need to do for being ready for whenever I get the call.
"I don't know actually what's going to happen. I'm still waiting to hear what they are going to say, when we are going to go there to start the season.
"I just want to play, and I'm ready to play and we are waiting to see what's going to happen."
Major League Baseball's 2020 season remains on hold as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent reports have suggested increased optimism that there will be baseball this year, stemming from certain states across the country reopening. But there's a difference between sports being allowed to resume and it being a good idea, from a public-health standpoint, to do so, and baseball continues to wait as the public-health situation evolves across the country.
While so much remains uncertain, one thing that seems to be a safe bet, if there is a 2020 season, is that players will require a second spring training to get their bodies back into game shape as best as possible before the start of an abbreviated schedule.
But with a potentially small window in which to play as many regular-season games as possible, how much of that precious time would be devoted to a second round of spring training?
"I'd just like to see pitches," Encarnacion said. "It isn't going to take more than three weeks. If they give us three weeks, I think I'd be grateful."
Of course, Encarnacion is the White Sox designated hitter, not one of their starting pitchers, who represent the biggest concern when it comes to getting ready for the season. A second spring training would allow them to ramp up as best as possible. But those hurlers are used to nearly two months of spring training to do that before a normal season.
With just three weeks to get ready after a significant layoff, the beginning of the season could see brief outings by starting pitchers and greater bullpen usage as those arms get back into the swing of things.
But the season happening at all remains one of those big unknowns. Guys like Encarnacion will stay ready while baseball mulls its next move amid these unprecedented circumstances.
Edwin Encarnacion: 'I'd be grateful' for three weeks of second spring training originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago