The Astros have kicked off their Summer Camp, a.k.a. their three-week window before the 60-game season begins. It was weird without fans, wearing a mask and being so far from the players, but baseball is back!
Here are the top things I took from Friday:
1. Yordan Alvarez has not yet reported--- in fact, he’s not even in Houston.
But wait, why would the reigning American League rookie of the year not be at Minute Maid? Astros manager Dusty Baker said he couldn’t get into details, but many speculate he could be the one with the virus. They hope to have him back next week.
Which leads me to my next takeaway:
2. More members of the organization have tested positive
Last week, the Astros sent a release saying a player in the organization had tested positive but that player was not in Houston. Friday, General Manager James Click revealed another person has tested positive for COVID-19, though he wasn’t at liberty to say who tested positive. He also didn’t specify whether it was a player, coach, front office member, etc. Positive tests are expected, and Click didn’t seem too worried about whoever it was.
3. The players are taking it in stride, and not letting the protocols get in the way of solid training.
“Everything has gone smoothly for the most part,” said Lance McCullers Jr. “I think guys are going to have to continue to make sure they do the right things away from the field and follow the precautions that are in place.”
Outfielder Kyle Tucker also mentioned the guys are using both the visiting clubhouse as well as the away clubhouse and have multiple lockers in between players.
Some players opt to not wear masks during workouts, but all of them wear them in the clubhouse and facilities.
4. There are plans in place if a player tests positive during the season, but they will differ depending on the circumstances.
“It depends on a lot of particulars, position players versus pitchers and relievers,” said Click, referring to someone not playing as the “COVID I.L.”
Click also added players could be put on that list if they are exposed, not necessarily just if they test positive.
“All the players have been educated on what we can do to keep ourselves as safe as possible,” said Click. The players have also said they’ll hold each other accountable for their hygiene practices during this time, according to Click.
5. Healthwise, this team is in pretty good shape.
Lance McCullers Jr. says he’s benefited from the extra time off as he recovers from surgery. Manager Dusty Baker also added that Justin Verlander is “psyched and ready to go. He’s been looking good.”
KPRC 2 will continue to provide coverage of Astros Summer Camp. Stay tuned!