Seymour native’s baseball season on hold because of coronavirus pandemic


Zack Brown had a normal offseason of strength training and throwing programs four or five times a week from late September to the first week of February.

The 25-year-old Seymour native then left home for Arizona and arrived at spring training two weeks early to get some additional work in with staff before major league camp started.

Spring training was going on normal, and Brown threw in four games — twice against the Los Angeles Angels and once against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.

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“Personally, I felt camp was going really well and setting myself up for a strong start to the season that was only a few weeks away,” the 25-year-old said.

Then everything became all but normal.

At the team’s complex one day, he had just finished his morning work — like a normal day — when the manager and general manager and told the team the season would not start on time.

The reason? The national coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was initially not very shocked,” said Brown, who has pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers’ Triple-A team, San Antonio Missions, since 2019.

“We all expected something to happen after the NBA made their decision the night before,” he said. “As a little time has gone by, it has become very surreal. There’s nothing to prepare anyone for this type of situation.”

On March 18, the Missions posted an update on their website, noting Major League Baseball has suspended the remainder of spring training and delayed the start of the 2020 season for major and minor league teams.

“The safety of our fans, players and employees is of the utmost importance to the Missions, and we fully support Major League Baseball’s and Minor League Baseball’s decision,” the post reads. “We will be closely monitoring any new guidance from Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball and city of San Antonio health officials.”

As information is received regarding suspended play and how that fully impacts the 2020 season in San Antonio, the details will be made available online at

Brown said without question the postponement of the season will have an impact.

“There have been a lot of questions about when we’ll start back up, how will spring training look when we resume, will we play a full schedule for the season, will we be paid during this time off, how much would we get paid, what should we do about our lease in Arizona, should we go home — a plethora of unknowns that could be different for each individual,” he said.

“The only thing we can do is try our best to stay prepared for the season, regardless of workout facility, location, etc.,” he said.

Just because he has time off and the team’s facility is closed doesn’t mean Brown plans to slow down.

“In this time off, I really just want to try to build on the foundation I laid so far this spring,” he said. “I felt like I cleaned some things up pitchingwise and had a better grasp of my pitch-by-pitch work. I plan to work out and throw five to six times a week at the house with my roommates, just doing the best we can with what we have.”

When the season is allowed to start, Brown said he’s most looking forward to the daily competition.

“Our careers are ran by competition every day, and to be without that for the time being can be a struggle,” he said. “Right now, we can just compete with ourselves to keep getting better throughout this downtime.”

In 2019 with the Missions, Brown had a 3-7 record and an earned run average of 5.79 in 25 games.

This season, he said his expectations and hopeful accomplishments are blank.

“I’ve really tried to set my mind on the present day after my struggles last year,” Brown said. “I feel like I got away from enjoying the daily routine by having my eyes set on the future. As cliche as it sounds, I want to focus on controlling what I can control and let the other things take care of itself.”

For the team, he said his expectations are high. In 2019, the Missions were 80-60 and finished second in the Pacific Coast League American Southern Division.

“There will likely be a lot of new faces because of the nature of the game, but everyone is very talented at this point,” Brown said.

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