As players begin to report for summer camp in preparation for the 2020 season, MLB revealed that only 31 players tested positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman and three of his teammates are among the players that have contracted the coronavirus.
Freddie Freeman among four Braves players to test positive for COVID-19
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Atlanta Braves skipper Brian Snitker shared that Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Touki Toussaint and Pete Kozma were all tested positive for COVID-19.
While Smith, who Atlanta signed to a massive three-year contract in free agency, and Touissant are asymptomatic, Freeman and Kozma weren’t as fortunate.
Freeman and Kozma are both dealing with symptoms from the coronavirus and will remain sidelined for some time. As of Saturday morning, Freeman told Snitker that he still wasn’t feeling well and Atlanta’s manager now expects it will be a while before the All-Star first baseman returns.
The 30-year-old is a four-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award this past season. In 2019, Freeman posted a .295/.389/.549 slash line with 38 homers and 121 RBI across 158 games.
While this is an obvious blow for the Braves, it also highlights the dangers of potentially playing baseball during the COVID-19 pandemic. Players are not only putting their long-term health in jeopardy, but the safety of their families is also at risk.
MLB players sitting out 2020 season
While there is no indication at this point that any of the four players will sit out, several of their peers around the league have already opted out of the 2020 season.
- Washington Nationals catcher Welington Castillo will not play this year.
- Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond won’t take part this season.
- Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross both opted out of playing.
- Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake is sitting out the 2020 season.
It’s expected that more MLB players are expected to withdraw from playing this season. From MLB’s perspective, the biggest blow might come if Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout decides to sit out to ensure the safety of his wife and their baby due in August.