David Metzgar hasn't exactly felt the comforts of home in recent years.
After signing with the New York Yankees as an undrafted prospect in 2017, Metzgar, a former All-WAC infielder at Cal State Bakersfield, quickly grew accustomed to the hectic lifestyle that comes with being a minor league baseball player.
In the last three years, he's had eight combined stints with six different teams, with stops ranging from rookie ball to a three-game stay with the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees' Double-A affiliate.
Playing in a total of 149 games, Metzgar has had just one stretch where he was with the same club for 30-consecutive games, his hectic schedule ensuring he'd never get too comfortable with his surroundings.
"I don’t take a big suitcase anymore because I don’t want to have to haul a bat bag and a big ol’ suitcase," he said. "I just pack enough and keep doing laundry.”
But in recent months, things have changed quite drastically.
Since March 26, Metzgar has essentially been confined to one location. After the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancelation of spring training, he flew from the team's Florida facility back to California, where he's been staying in the Lancaster home of his parents ever since.
Though he's been able to stay in shape, thanks largely to a fully stocked gym in the garage of his girlfriend's house, Metzgar has had a tough time adjusting to the seismic shift in his travel schedule.
"It's actually really, really weird," he said. "This is my first time at home this time of year in a long time. It's been crazy and I'm trying to figure out what to do."
Making things more difficult is that nearly two months after returning home, Metzgar still doesn't have any clarity on when, or if, he'll return to action in 2020. While talks of a return-to-play proposal for Major League Baseball have gained traction in recent weeks, discussions of re-starting minor league seasons have been far less fruitful, and Metzgar admits pessimism is starting to set in.
"It's already late May and I personally haven't heard anything," he said. "It's kind of tough to think we're going to have some type of season, for minor leaguers at least."
The disappointing lack of progress comes after Metzgar closed 2019 by playing arguably the best ball of his professional career. In 29 games with the Single-A Short Season Staten Island Yankees, he hit .357, driving in eight runs and scoring 16 more.
While holding out hope that he can still fulfill his Major League ambitions, Metzgar, who turned 25 last December, fears those dreams will take a devastating blow if he's unable to play this season.
"I'm not getting any younger and I can't play in the minors forever," he said. "I might have some decisions to make coming up."