Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez tested positive for the coronavirus July 7, but he returned to the club over the weekend and detailed his serious bout with the illness. Rodriguez told Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe he has never been sicker, saying he felt “100 years old” and was concerned he wouldn’t “make it to the season.” Fortunately, Boston’s No. 1 starter will pitch this year, though it’s going to take time for him to ramp up before he makes his 2020 debut. Rodriguez took an encouraging step Saturday when he came out of a 25-pitch bullpen session feeling fine.
- Like Rodriguez, Angels righty Julio Teheran will miss the start of the season because of a positive COVID-19 test. Teheran began feeling sick in late June, but he explained (via Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times) that he was more concerned about the illness affecting those around him. Teheran’s parents are at high risk of catching the virus, and two other members of his family – his wife and 4-year-old son – as well as their nanny tested positive. Teheran’s wife and son were asymptomatic, but he and the family nanny were not. All of them seem to be doing OK now, luckily. Teheran’s Angels debut will be delayed, but the former Brave informed DiGiovanna he’s only “about a week behind.”
- Brewers slugger Ryan Braun is dealing with “nagging” back, oblique and neck issues, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel relays (Twitter links). It’s unclear whether those problems will jeopardize his Opening Day chances, but it’s worth noting that they have prevented Braun from playing in Summer Camp. Meanwhile, teammate and southpaw Eric Lauer will miss the start of the season “by a little bit,” manager Craig Counsell revealed. Lauer is behind schedule because he was exposed to someone with the coronavirus, but he is healthy. The 25-year-old was a key offseason pickup for Milwaukee, which landed him in a four-player trade with San Diego. Lauer tossed 149 2/3 innings of 4.45 ERA/4.23 FIP ball with 8.3 K/9 and 3.07 BB/9 a season ago.
- It’s in question whether Rockies right-hander Scott Oberg will be available when their season starts Friday, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Oberg has battled a back strain, but he threw his first intrasquad game Sunday and indicated afterward he has made progress in the past week. Manager Bud Black is also encouraged, though he expects a decision on Oberg to “go down to the wire.” Considering Wade Davis’ recent struggles, Oberg looks like unquestionably the Rockies’ best reliever. The 30-year-old put up his second straight impressive season in 2019, logging a 2.25 ERA/3.54 FIP with 9.32 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 56 innings.
- Rangers left-hander Brett Martin has been cleared for Summer Camp following a positive COVID test. Manager Chris Woodward told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan and other media members Sunday that Martin will still begin the season on the injured list since “he’s not there yet. So we’re going to keep monitoring him, have him throw bullpens and maybe some live [batting practices] to get him ready.” Martin posted a 4.76 ERA, 3.44 K/BB rate, 53.8% grounder rate, and 8.95 K/9 over 62 1/3 innings in 2019, his debut season in the big leagues.
- Right-handed pitching prospect Wil Crowe is at the Nationals’ minor league training camp after being in COVID quarantine for several weeks, Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post reports (Twitter link). The Nats’ second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Crowe is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the fourth-best prospect in Washington’s farm system. Crowe has a 4.03 ERA, 2.41 K/BB rate, and 7.5 K/9 over 290 minor league innings, and while reached Triple-A last season, his 6.17 ERA over 54 Triple-A innings indicates that he might yet need some more seasoning before receiving a Major League promotion. The Nationals did include Crowe on their initial 60-man player pool at the start of Summer Camp.