Nationals star Juan Soto cleared of COVID-19, won’t make debut until Aug. 4

Nationals star Juan Soto during World Series game against Astros
Oct 30, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts to striking out against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning in game seven of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

It was a week ago Thursday that Washington Nationals star outfielder Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19. This forced him to miss Washington’s Opening Day loss to the New York Yankees and six other outings.

Soto had grown frustrated after multiple negative tests since initially testing positive. We now have some understanding on that front. The young MVP candidate believes that a false positive pushed back his return. There’s also some good news on this front.

Juan Soto cleared of COVID-19 by MLB

As noted in the report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Soto still won’t make his season debut until Aug. 4 due to a combination of Nationals off days, canceled games and rules in the nation’s capital.

Nationals series against the Marlins postponed

Washington was set to take on the Marlins this weekend. However, a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 cases within the Marlins’ clubhouse forced that series to be postponed. In fact, the Marlins will go at least a week without playing a game due to the outbreak.

Nationals players had previously voted not to travel to South Beach to take on the Marlins. Of course, that’s now moot. But it does paint a picture of the uneasiness surrounding the MLB season a week since it started.

For the Nationals, they sit at 3-4 after the first week of the campaign. The team has now played more than 10% of its schedule. Needless to say, getting Soto back looms large here.

Soto, 21, hit .282 with 34 homers, 110 RBI and a .949 OPS en route to finishing in the top-10 of the NL MVP voting last season.