MLB News and Notes: Testing Delays


With the revised schedule for the 2020 MLB season coming out earlier this week, the season is one step closer to becoming a reality. Let’s catch up on everything else going on around baseball these days.

The first week of “summer camp” around baseball has been plagued by delays in testing that have forced some teams to cancel training. The Nationals, Astros, and Giants were among the organizations that had to call off workouts while waiting to get test results back.

The Players’ Association agreed that players should be tested every other day, but MLB has failed to uphold that agreement for some teams. MLB initially blamed some of the delays on the holiday weekend, although the issues have lingered beyond the weekend.

Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, whose wife gave birth while the country was shut down, is growing skeptical about the safety of the players. He also says that he’s not convinced that MLB will be able to play and finish the season.

Oakland reliever Jake Diekman, who lives with an autoimmune condition called ulcerative colitis, has voiced similar concerns. He says if MLB doesn’t get the testing figured out, the season could be stopped. “During the season, there’s no way we can go 72 hours or longer without knowing our result,” said Diekman.

The List Grows

While there are some lingering issues with testing, most teams are getting the results back in a timely manner. Of course, that has led to more positive cases.

Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and is feeling symptoms. Rodriguez was likely to be the Red Sox opening day starter, although that’s up in the air after manager Ron Roenicke said the lefty is “not feeling 100%.”

Meanwhile, the Brewers announced that Luis Urias and Angel Perdomo both tested positive before camp started despite both being asymptomatic.

Yes or No?

Texas slugger Joey Gallo has become the poster boy for the issues with MLB’s testing. Gallo initially tested positive for COVID-19 despite being asymptomatic, forcing him to miss the start of camp. However, Gallo has subsequently tested negative, only to have a third test come back positive. At the moment, Gallo is in limbo, needing two negative tests that are at least 24 hours apart before he can rejoin the Rangers.

Not for Nick

Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis has become the latest player to opt-out of the 2020 season because of concerns over the virus. After talking with teammates Freddie Freeman, who tested positive for COVID-19 and has been experiencing symptoms, Markakis made the decision to sit out. Without Markakis, Adam Duvall and Ender Inciarte will be left to compete for playing time for the third spot in Atlanta’s outfield with Ronald Acuna Jr. and Marcell Ozuna likely to be in the lineup every day.

Getting Started

As mentioned, the schedule is out for the 2020 season. We now know that the season will begin on July 23 with two games. First, the Nationals will host the Yankees, followed by the Giants visiting the Dodgers.

The rest of the league will then play their first game of the season on July 24. The schedule includes an August 13 game between the Cardinals and White Sox that will be played at the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.

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