On the third day of summer camp, we have more information on the players who were previously absent. Outfielder David Peralta and Kevin Ginkel were cleared to play after missing the first two days. The lone remaining absence that was not previously accounted for was outfielder Kole Calhoun. In today’s Zoom call with the media, manager Torey Lovullo confirmed that Calhoun tested positive and was asymptomatic. With the news on all three players, I believe all players on the 60-man roster can be accounted for.
When asked about the process for returning to the field, Peralta said he had to have four negative tests before being cleared to play. During the shutdown, Peralta had experienced mild symptoms before testing positive for COVID-19. He said that the symptoms passed through after about four to five days in today’s Zoom call with the media. In his return to action, Peralta hit a single and a home run in his 2 ABs in a live scrimmage. There’s no news that confirms or denies Ginkel testing positive for the virus although the lack of clarity on his previous absence suggests the case. The fact he’s been cleared to participate in camp is a sign that whatever was ailing him is a thing of the past and he’s ready to contribute.
Both Peralta and Ginkel are expected to be major cogs on the 2020 Diamondbacks, the former being relied on as a top run producer alongside Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar while the latter could be the bridge to closer Archie Bradley in the back-end of the bullpen. Having both players healthy and recovered from the virus is great news for the team’s attempts to win, as 2020 will be more of a sprint than a marathon.
The news on Calhoun is not too surprising given his absence and no news on that until today. He joins pitchers Junior Guerra and Silvino Bracho as confirmed positives as of right now and will be quarantined away from the team. Lovullo made sure to note that Calhoun did not get the virus after camp opened up and the results came from when the team tested all their players before it started. Both Guerra and Calhoun will need to test negative for the virus, perhaps as many as four times, before being allowed back with the rest of the roster. With Tim Locastro, Jon Jay, Trayce Thompson, and Josh Rojas on the roster, the team can ham-and-egg the RF position until Calhoun is cleared and ready to go.
As more test results come in, and hopefully a quicker process from beginning to end, there should be more clarity on who has the virus and how bad the symptoms are. There are notable cases of veteran players opting out (Mike Leake) of the season, experiencing major symptoms (Freddie Freeman), or unsure about playing out the season (Mike Trout). For Major League Baseball to have a successful 2020 “season”, they’ll need to be capable of getting these results in quickly enough for managers and baseball ops to be able to make real-time decisions on who can play and who needs to be quarantined. Let’s hope for the best here as we are less than 3 weeks away from the season beginning.