It was only a handful of days into this shortened season when MLB was struck with a COVID outbreak. As each day passed during baseball’s Opening Weekend, more and more Marlins players were struck down with positive tests. The Rockies may be on the opposite side of the country, but that hasn’t stopped this as serving as a wake up call for them. The guys know this could happen to any team and shouldn’t be viewed as the problem of some other clubhouse.
“We’re concerned about our entire group, even when we get back to Denver, with special emphasis on the older guys who are part of our traveling party and part of our team,”
A noticeable shift has occurred in the short span since Opening Day as masks are becoming more and more prevalent on the field. On Wednesday, Rockies catcher Tony Wolters could be seen wearing one behind his catcher’s mask, with Nolan also sporting one almost the entire game, except for his time at the plate.
Bud Black, also not seen during the game without a face covering, emphasized how paramount it is that the players take this seriously, even if the current outbreak feels far away
“The mindset of our group is to keep going forward, do what we need to do as far as mask-wearing, social distancing, cleanliness. We’re doing what we need to do.”
While many have called into question MLB’s ability to handle this outbreak and continue the season, there have been some positives regarding the league’s response. There have been zero positive tests on teams other than the Marlins, suggesting MLB’s decision to cancel Marlin’s games through Sunday and reschedule Yankees, Phillies, and Orioles games, may have helped prevent an even larger outbreak *knock on wood*
In addition, one of baseball’s biggest stars, Juan Soto, appears to be on the verge of re-joining the Nationals after testing positive for COVID on Opening Day.
Since his initial positive test a week ago, Juan Soto has received five tests with negative results. This gets him passed MLB’s protocol of two negative tests required before a player can return to their team. As is always the case during this pandemic, the health of the player is the main focus and it appears as if Soto will escape having not seen any ill effects of the disease.
For the Nationals, they hope this is a sign that they’ll be getting Soto back at his best. Soto serves as their main guy following Anthony Rendon’s departure to the Angels and the defending champions have struggled out of the gate. A 1-4 record has them at the bottom of the NL East early on and Juan Soto will play a big role in this team turning it around.