Hudson Valley Sports Report


New Minor League Playoff Structure This Season Might Keep Team Out

By Rich Thomaselli
HVSR Staff

Since they took off in mid-May playing some of the best baseball in the minor leagues’ High Class A East League for the last three months, the Hudson Valley Renegades seemed like a lock for the playoffs.

After all, with just a month left in the regular season, the Renegades have a 10-game lead in the North Division on the Aberdeen (Md.) Ironbirds.

Yet they could still miss the postseason thanks to a new playoff structure just for this season.

About a month ago, the powers-the-be in minor league baseball decided on an altered postseason format, mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic having played havoc with the start of the year and the schedule.

Normally, minor league teams would have started the first week of April and ended the last week of August, leaving September for a multi-team playoff.

This year, the season did not start until the first week of May and ends in late September.

So, instead of a traditional multi-team playoff, only the two winningest teams in the league advance to a five-game championship series.

“The No. 1 seed gets the last three games at home and the No. 2 seed gets the first two games at home,” Renegades president Steve Gliner explained.

But that could leave the Renegades on the outside looking in.

Right now in High Class A East, Bowling Green (Tampa Rays) has 66 wins, and the Renegades (Yankees) and Greensboro (Pittsburgh Pirates) each have 58. It’s conceivable that Hudson Valley could win its division but not make the playoffs if they fall behind Greensboro.

“It is what it is for this year,” Gliner said. “The good thing is we play Greensboro in 12 of our final 18 games, so that will make things interesting.”

Hudson Valley goes to Greensboro for a six-game series starting August 31, and Greensboro comes to Dutchess Stadium fox six beginning September 14.

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