The St. Paul Saints will start their season a month later than expected as Major League Baseball changed the start of the Class AAA schedule from April 6 to May 4.

That means the Saints, who are now the top affiliate of the Twins, will have their schedule compacted from 142 to 120 games.

Because of the continuing threat of COVID-19, MLB will allow major league teams to have affiliate sites when the season starts. The closeness of sites allows for easier testing, among other things, and teams will have taxi squads as they did in 2020 until the AAA season begins. MLB also hopes the delay will allow more minor league players to be vaccinated by the time their seasons start.

CHS Field in St. Paul will again be the Twins' alternate training site. Players at the site are expected to be those who are slated to start the season at the AAA level.

The Saints will now open their season with six games at Omaha, starting May 4. The home opener will be May 11 against the Iowa Cubs. The season ends Sept. 19.