MLB News and Notes: Price Decides To Bypass Season

It took way too long, but the second edition of spring training has resumed, so let’s check out all of the important news around MLB.

Bowing Out

As expected, several players are exercising their right not to participate in the 2020 season. We already knew about Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, and Mike Leake, but here are the latest players to announce they won’t be playing this year.

  • David Price will now wait until 2021 to make his debut with the Dodgers. Price was traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers in February and his absence figures to weaken the Los Angeles rotation. However, he’ll sit out due to concern over his health and concern for his family.
  • Tyson Ross followed by the lead of his brother Joe by opting out of the 2020 season, although he’s currently a free agent.
  • Welington Castillo becomes the third Nationals player to sit out the season. Castillo was on a minor league contract, although he likely would have made the team as a third catcher.
  • Felix Hernandez, who was on a minor league deal with the Braves, won’t pitch in 2020. The 34-year-old was just trying to hold on after a disastrous season with the Mariners last year, so there’s no guarantee he gets another chance in 2021.

Scary Scene

The Yankees got a scare on Saturday when Masahiro Tanaka was struck in the head by a line drive while throwing live batting practice to teammate Giancarlo Stanton. Tanaka was motionless for a few minutes before he was able to walk off.

He was taken to the hospital and later released after his concussion-like symptoms began to fade. Tanaka is likely to be in MLB’s concussion protocol, making a timeline for his return to the mound unclear.

Testing Positive

MLB has said it will not disclose players who test positive for COVID-19. However, players are free to share that information if they want to.

Also, it’ll likely become obvious who has tested positive based on who isn’t playing without suffering any other injury. During the first round of tests, 31 players and seven staff members tested positive.

Of the 3,185 tests, that’s a rate of 1.2%, which is on part with the national average and much lower than last month’s testing of NBA players, which was 5.3%.

Thus far, the Phillies have been hit hard with four players testing positive, including infielder Scott Kingery and reliever Hector Neris. Reports have also confirmed that the Braves have four players who have tested positive.

The most notable player is first baseman Freddie Freeman, who isn’t projected to be back anytime soon, which could hurt Atlanta in a short season. Tommy Pham of the Padres and Delino DeShields Jr. of the Indians are also notable players who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Taking a Look

Following the lead of the Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Indians will review their nickname and determine if a name change is necessary. Amidst the background of the Black Lives Matter, team nicknames that can be viewed as racially insensitive should be reconsidered.

In fairness, Cleveland stopped using the controversial Chief Wahoo logo two years ago, although a move away from the Indians might be warranted as well.

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