Baseball season is slowly getting closer, as Major League Baseball gets ready to join other sports that have returned to action, which means there’s a lot more news to know about. Let’s get caught up on everything you should know.
The Yankees announced over the weekend that closer Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for COVID-19. Chapman’s intake tests were negative, so he had been participating in summer camp before his test came back positive.
He reportedly has “mild” symptoms of the virus but is expected to be away from the team for the foreseeable future, which could cause him to miss the early part of the 60-game season.
Despite testing negative for COVID-19, the Brewers have placed pitcher Eric Lauer on the injured list after having close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. According to league protocol, he had to delay his arrival at camp.
Milwaukee is also without shortstop Luis Urias and pitcher Angel Perdomo, who are on the injured list after testing positive but are showing no symptoms. Despite the late start, Brewers manager Craig Counsell isn’t ruling out the possibility of Lauer being ready for the start of the season.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has made his arrival at summer camp after recovering from COVID-19. Despite having a heart condition, Jansen has survived the virus and isn’t planning on opting-out of the season.
However, he has spoken out about the seriousness of the virus after experiencing it firsthand, saying: “It is real. Everyone in the world — just take it serious. Wear your mask. Trust me; it happened so fast.”
Old Man Problems
In non-virus injury news, Braves starter Cole Hamels is working through triceps tendinitis during summer camp. The same issue sidelined Hamels during spring training before the pandemic delayed the season.
The 36-year-old is expected to be an important veteran presence in a young Atlanta rotation this season, although his status for the start of the season is now in question. Manager Brian Snitker says the team won’t know for another week whether Hamels will be ready for the start of the season.
The Blue Jays may have lost starter Chase Anderson for the foreseeable future after he suffered an oblique strain while throwing a bullpen session over the weekend. The strain appears to be a mild one, although oblique issues are notoriously tricky.
Anderson was expected to be part of a veteran-heavy rotation in Toronto alongside Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, and Matt Shoemaker. Fortunately for the Blue Jays, they have a slew of young pitchers, many of whom have some experience in the majors, to help replace Anderson if he ends up missing a significant chunk of the season.
The injury issues continue for Aaron Judge, who has been held out of summer camp for the past two days because of a stiff neck. Manager Aaron Boone says that Judge is getting better, although he was unable to participate in intra-squad scrimmages over the weekend.
Judge needed the delay in the season to recover from a broken rib and is now dealing with other issues. However, Boone doesn’t expect the issue to be a long-term problem, allowing Judge to be ready for the start of the season.
No Change Here
While Washington’s football franchise moves toward a name change, the Atlanta Braves say that won’t be the case for them. The club sent an email to season-ticket holders over the weekend, saying that they won’t be changing their name.
However, the team is going to explore the future of the famous Tomahawk Chop. The famous rallying call for Braves fans will be discussed with an advisory group.