CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Hooks' 2020 Texas League season has been canceled because of the pandemic.
In the wake of the cancellation, Houston Astros general manager James Click announced that the Astros will utilize Whataburger Field as their alternate training site for the 2020 Major League Baseball Season.
It will be the first time that the Texas League season has been canceled since it was shuttered for three years during World War II from 1943-45.
Wednesday's announcement was among the group of other cancellations for minor leagues across the nation.
In the wake of the official cancellation of the Corpus Christi Hooks’ 2020 Texas League campaign, Houston Astros General Manager James Click announced the Astros’ selection of Whataburger Field as their alternate training site for the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
The Astros' taxi squad that will work out in Corpus Christi will contain approximately 30 designated reserve players ready to be called up by the Astros as needed for the major league's shortened 60-game season. Houston received special permission from MLB to house the taxi squad outside the mandated 100-mile radius of a club’s home ballpark.
The team will have 15 to 20 reserve players who will begin training here on July 23.
While fans will not be permitted at the ballpark to watch training sessions, the Hooks plan to produce baseball content on their social channels. The park will be closed to the public and the workouts will be run by Houston coaches.
“Pitchers are going to be in a relief mode," Hooks assistant general manager Brady Ballard said. "They will need to fill in and eat up some innings and obviously get some guys at bats and live pitching so they can step in and contribute. I’m sure a lot of those guys will be made up of former Hooks over the last few years and those on the cusp of the major leagues."
It is expected that more than half of the reserve players who will train in Corpus Christi will see big-league action this season.
“With student-athletes returning to the UH campus in August, we will host our regular season taxi squad in Corpus Christi beginning July 25th,” Click said. “Whataburger Field, the home of our Double-A affiliate Corpus Christi Hooks, is a great facility, with new player development amenities, and within driving distance to Houston. Several of our players are familiar with the city, and we believe it will work well for us.”
“We’re elated to have baseball at Whataburger Field in 2020,” Hooks general manager Wes Weigle said. “Being selected to host the Astros’ taxi squad, comprised of top prospects and MLB-ready players, speaks to the prestige of our facilities and this community. The players should look forward to being the first to use our newly renovated weight room and enclosed batting cages among other amenities. We’re ready to help the Astros get back to the World Series in any way we can.”
Major League Baseball has informed Minor League Baseball that it will not providing its affiliated minor league teams like the Hooks with players for the upcoming season. As a result, there will not be a 2020 season.
"These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we've had a summer without Minor League Baseball played," Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O'Conner said in a prepared statement. "While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment."
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