With less than two weeks left before the start of the MLB season, things are finally starting to feel real. This thing might actually happen, so let’s catch up on all of the headlines around baseball from the past couple of days.
The Results Are In
MLB has announced the results of COVID-19 testing since the start of summer camp. During intake testing, there were 66 positive tests, including 58 players.
That amounts to 1.8% of all tests coming back positive with all but three teams having at least one person test positive. After intake testing, more than 7,400 additional tests have been performed during monitoring testing with 17 coming back positive. That amounts to 0.2% coming back positive with 13 of the 17 positive tests being players.
Posey Opting Out
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has become the latest star player to opt out of the 2020 season. Posey and his wife recently adopted a pair of twin baby girls that were born premature and will have weakened immune systems for several months.
If not for the babies, Posey says he would likely play. However, he’s putting the health of his family first and choosing not to play.
San Francisco is a little light behind the plate without Posey, although heralded prospect Joey Bart could seize the opportunity and spend the season in the majors.
Kopech Out For 2020
White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech has also decided to sit out the 2020 season. Kopech sat out all of 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and wasn’t in Chicago for the start of summer camp because of a personal matter.
He has since gone public with his battle with depression and anxiety, which appears to be the reason why he won’t pitch in 2020.
Who’s On First?
One of the best young sluggers in baseball is moving across the diamond. The Blue Jays say that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is going to move to first base in 2020 after playing third base as a rookie last year.
Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo didn’t rule out Guerrero playing third base but says he will focus on first base during summer camp. Travis Shaw is now expected to be Toronto’s primary third baseman while Guerrero splits time between first base and designated hitter.
Not Giving Up
After his first attempt to buy the New York Mets was unsuccessful, billionaire Steve Cohen is trying again. Cohen currently owns 8% of the team and was attempting to purchase an 80% share until talks broke down in February.
However, Cohen is repeatedly one of several prospective buyers who are expected to submit bids to buy the team by next Thursday. There are several other bidders in the running, including a group highlighted by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez.
Not Our Guy
The MLB Umpires Association is distancing itself from longtime umpire Joe West this week after West questioned the accuracy of COVID-19 statistics. The 67-year-old West is considered high risk for COVID-19 because of a pre-existing condition.
However, he says that he will return to work for the 60-game season. Meanwhile, the Umpires Association has made it clear that West’s comments about the legitimacy of COVID-19 statistics do not reflect their stance on the seriousness of the coronavirus.
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