Hello and welcome to the latest from summer camp!
It’s being rumored that the Toronto Blue Jays will play their “home” games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh this season, although nothing is set in stone. The team must find a temporary home because the Canadian federal government rejected the Jays’ request to be allowed to travel to the U.S. and back during the pandemic.
The hashtag #BoycottMLB was trending on Twitter presumably in response to Monday’s exhibition game in which some San Francisco Giants players and coaches kneeled during the national anthem. Since then members of the Cincinnati Reds have also been seen kneeling during the anthem.
In other Giants news, assistant coach Alyssa Nakken became the first woman to coach first base during an exhibition game.
Kwang-Hyun Kim is likely to serve as the Cardinals’ closer to start the season, suggested team manager Mike Shildt. Other players in the mix include Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley. This comes as fallout from the announcement that last year’s closer Carlos Martinez has made the rotation.
The Dodgers have optioned Gavin Lux to their alternate training site to allow him more time to prep for the season following his late arrival to camp. Alternatives at second base for the Dodgers include Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez.
The abortive signing by the Braves of Yasiel Puig, who tested positive for COVID-19 prior to completing his physical, may be the impetus behind the team’s signing of first baseman Matt Adams. Adams received a minor league contract, however, so his roster spot is not assured. He may also be insurance should Freddie Freeman‘s recovery from COVID hit any bumps in the road.
Yoenis Cespedes indicates that he expects to DH when the season begins. Limited by a leg injury, the universal DH position this season will allow Cespedes to limit the risk of further injury.
The following players have announced their intention to sit out of the 2020 season due to the risk of being exposed to COVID-19:
- Tyson Ross
- Joe Ross
- Ryan Zimmerman
- Ian Desmond
- Mike Leake
- David Price
- Nick Markakis
- Felix Hernandez
- Welington Castillo
- Hector Noesi
- Buster Posey
- Michael Kopech
- Jordan Hicks
- Collin McHugh
Illnesses and Injuries
Jakob Junis has been placed on the 10-day IL in order to give him time to build up after his late arrival to camp. He tested positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic so the designation is merely to give Junis the time he needs to get ready.
Cole Hamels will not be ready to start the season for the Braves. Having experienced shoulder inflammation, he still needs time to build up strength before taking the hill.
The Yankees have placed Masahiro Tanaka on the 10-day injured list due to a concussion he received from a comebacker during summer camp.
Yoan Moncada is expected to be ready for Opening Day after recovering from COVID-19.
A.J. Puk has been placed on the 10-day injured list by the Athletics after receiving a cortisone shot in his ailing shoulder, which will keep him sidelined for at least two weeks.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. experienced some mild left side discomfort, raising fears of an oblique injury that could cost the up-and-coming star up to half the season. The Blue Jays, however, believe the injury is minor and that he should be ready for opening day. Gurriel is set to take batting practice Tuesday night.
The following players have tested positive for COVID-19. If they are asymptomatic, they will stay out until they are cleared to return by passing two negative tests in a row. If they exhibit symptoms they must obviously recover first. Their current status, if available, is shown in parenthesis. Other teams have reported positive tests without disclosing the names of the players involved.
- Freddie Freeman (Symptomatic, returned)
- Pete Kozma
- Touki Toussaint (Returned)
- Will Smith (Asymptomatic)
- Anthony Santander (symptomatic, returned)
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
- Yoan Moncada (symptomatic)
- Derek Dietrich (asymptomatic, released)
Kansas City Royals
- Salvador Perez (returned)
- Brad Keller (asymptomatic, returned)
- Ryan O’Hearn (asymptomatic)
- Cam Gallagher
- Jakob Junis (asymptomatic, returned)
New York Yankees
- Jesus Luzardo (asymptomatic, returned)
- Scott Kingery (symptomatic, returned)
St. Louis Cardinals
- Ricardo Sanchez
- Genesis Cabrera
San Diego Padres
- Tommy Pham (symptomatic, returned)
- Jorge Mateo
San Francisco Giants
- Hunter Bishop
Tampa Bay Rays
- Joey Gallo (Asymptomatic, Returned)
- Juan Soto (exposure only, returned)