MLB, MLBPA reach agreement on health and safety protocols

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post is among those reporting that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have reached an agreement on health and safety protocol involved in putting on the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic.

Per ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the health and safety guidelines had grown from 67 pages to over 100 pages.

Spring training will begin on July 3 at the players’ home ballparks. Opening Day of the 60-game regular season is believed to start on July 23 or 24. The season will come with some temporary changes. As of right now, no games will be played in front of fans. Teams will play 40 games within their division (10 games each) and the other 20 games interleague with geographic counterparts (5 games each), per Jon Heyman.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.