As we all know, this season is going to see reduced travel by minor league teams due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. That was going to necessarily limit the schedule the Jumbo Shrimp would play. It was then decreed that instead of a 2, 3, or 4 game series as in the past, MiLB teams would be playing 6 games in each series. Since Monday is a universal off day for every league except the
Pacific Coast League Triple-A West (who take Wednesdays off), each series would start on Tuesday and end on Sunday. On top of all of that, the season was cut by a month to allow for minor league players to go to training camps after the Major Leaguers left, and some parks, like Jacksonville, could be used as Alternate Training Sites.
What we really did not expect was for the 2021 season to consist of 102 games against only 3 opponents, with 6 games apiece against 3 other opponents. Seriously. This is what the Shrimp have on the schedule this season:
- Norfolk – 18 home, 18 away
- Durham – 18 home, 18 away
- Charlotte – 18 home, 12 away
- Gwinnett – 6 away
- Memphis – 6 away
- Nashville – 6 home
Jacksonville is not alone with this heavily weighted schedule in 2021, but it is does feel like the teams in the Triple-A East/Southeast that are further away from other teams in the league were dealt a far less interesting schedule than say Memphis or Nashville, which has eight and nine series, respectively, with teams from the Triple-A East/Midwest. Having seven teams in a division will always mean that one of the Southeast division teams will have to play outside the division, but that appears not to apply for 2021.
So, it is time for everyone to study up on the Orioles, Rays, and White Sox farm systems, because we will be seeing a lot of their players this season, both here in Jacksonville and on the road.