Updated: Dec 21, 2020
So far, we have seen a few players who have said they are not playing due to concerns regarding COVID-19.
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As of today, when the MLB gave their test results for COVID-19, the results were encouraging. Out of 3185 tests, 38 came back positive, which is 1.2%. This is excellent news as Summer Camp starts again.
The list is short so far, but it will quickly get longer. I can only assume: I will keep this updated as more players come out. But here is who we know so far and who we can expect to see step into their roles.
On July 2nd OF Mike Trout came out and said, "I still don't feel comfortable playing," which I respect the stars that come out and say something because it opens the door for other players to not be afraid to speak out. Trouts' main concern is spreading something to his family. At the end of the day, at the end of this guy's career, all they have is their family. It's all about protecting them and their wellbeing. Being a father, Trouts' concern is his pregnant wife and soon be newborn come August. If Trout doesn't play, the AL West takes a drastic shift.
P- Joe Ross of the Washington Nationals has said he will sit out this season. This is a significant impact due to the Nationals bullpen and a rotation that is unknown next to Scherzer. Expect to see the likes of Austin Voth and Erick Fedde factor into the rotation battle.
IF- Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals has also said he will sit out this season. No, he is not retiring. Zimmerman intends to play in 2021. He has played 14 seasons in the MLB, so retirement could have a different answer come the winter. We can fully expect to see new arrival Eric Thames get some reps in at 1B. We can also see Carter Kieboom or Asdrubal Cabrera also take agents.
P- Mike Leake of the Arizona D-backs was the first player to say he was sitting out this season. This has a significant impact on D-Backs' rotation as we have seen Leake be a very steady and reliable option in his career. We could see some combo of Taylor Widener, Riley Smith, Edwin Jackson also factor into the rotation to replace Leake.
IF- Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs will NOT, yes, will NOT be sitting out 2020 even though he is in the high-risk category. The reason he is in the high-risk group is that he is a cancer survivor. But hey, the Cubs will need all the bats this season to compete in a more robust Central division.
OF- Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies. All due respect to him. To quote 'home is where I need to be right now.' Good for him. This had a significant impact on the Rox lineup, and Desmond is a pretty good guy with the bat. Immediately this opens more opportunities for David Dhal to get regular PT if he stays healthy. The guy that I am most excited about here is Raimel Tapia! This guy has added muscle to his frame and real power and is ready to produce!
OF- Tommy Pham of the SanDiego Padres, now this one I am not sure about. Pham's test came back positive but as asymptomatic. This is a good and bad thing. Yes, he is positive, but it just means a confined and that he wasn't spreading it. But if it lingers, lookers for the Padres to use Trent Grisham to get some extra reps among other lesser-known players. <div>The Braves got hit hard with positive tests- Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Pete Kozma, and Touki Toussaint all tested positive. THIS IS BAD! These are all critical players for the Braves who I have projected to win the tough NL East. The Braves should look to Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, Tucker Davison, and Jasseel De La Cruz to fill the pitching void. Some combo of Camargo, William Contreras, Shea Langilers, Branden Shewmaker to work around the IF to fill Freeman's void. The Braves have a deep system and should be fine.