An unnamed Major League pitching coach and a player on a 40-man roster have both tested positive for COVID-19, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. As per Sherman’s sources, the player contracted the coronavirus relatively recently, but there is “belief that he has not infected anyone else involved in the game.” As for the pitching coach, he is thankfully now recovered after contracting the virus “weeks ago.”
It’s quite possible we might never know the identity of either person, though given what we know about the spread of COVID-19, it’s safe to assume that far more team-affiliated personnel than just these two have gotten the disease. Some people with COVID-19 can never experience any symptoms and thus don’t even know they have the coronavirus, which puts them at greater risk of unknowingly spreading the disease to others. Since the league shutdown in March, teams have asked personnel to provide regular medical updates to staff, in order to best manage and treat any potential or confirmed COVID-19 cases.
As Sherman notes, these two positive cases only underline the difficulties faced by the league in figuring out how to keep all players, coaches, staffers, and other personnel as protected as possible during any games played in 2020, no matter how many health and safety procedures are enacted. While there is no such way to ensure 100 percent safety, there is also the threat of a second wave of coronavirus cases later in the year or even before the summer is out, which could result in renewed wide-scale lockdowns and no baseball whatever.