Coronavirus is Benching Players As Summer Camp Begins

The results are in: COVID has hit the big leagues.

This isn’t exactly news, per se, but MLB officially announced today that during their return-to-camp testing, 31 players and 7 staff have tested positive for coronavirus. The league tested 3,185 people coming back into camp, and the 38 positives represent just 1.2% of that number.

Statement released Friday MLB and MLBPA

We don’t have the names of all of those that tested positive, since MLB will not release names of those who test positive due to privacy laws. Players such as Twins utility player Willians Astudillo or Padres’ outfielder Tommy Pham are among those that agreed to share their positive results, and both are asymptomatic and in isolation. Cleveland outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. has also tested positive and was only displaying minor symptoms, and is doing well according to team president of operations Chris Antonetti. If a player does test positive, teams will not specifically announce their infection, and merely place the player on the injured list as they’re removed from the club. Players testing positive will be instructed to self-isolate immediately and must test negative twice before returning to team activities.

Some players aren’t even taking the chance are are opting out of the season entirely. The World Champion Nationals have now lost three players that would have been on their 60-man roster: first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, pitcher Joe Ross, and backup catcher Wellington Castillo have all announced they will not be playing amid coronavirus threat. Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond has also opted out of playing this season after not only positive tests from teammates Charlie Blackmon, Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani, but also citing the state of the country as a whole right now. In a very poignant and lengthy Instagram post, Desmond explained his reasoning for sitting out this year to be with his family and shed some light on the state of things:

View this post on Instagram

On my mind.

A post shared by Ian Desmond (@i_dez20) on

Only time will tell if more players start to hit that injured list with positive tests, or if teams will have to shut down completely. According to the poll that many of you answered last week, many fans are feeling like MLB will not get to play the fill 60-game season:

One can only hope that we’ll get to see the season through to Game Seven of the World Series this year.

What say you, readers? Leave a comment below.