Athletics left-hander Jesus Luzardo has tested positive for the coronavirus, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links). He’ll go into self isolation and need a pair of negative tests, separated by at least 24 hours, before he can return to the team. Fortunately, Luzardo tells Slusser that he’s “feeling good” and “ready to get going” once he receives that pair of negative tests.
There’d been some prior concern about Luzardo and right-hander Mike Fiers, as the two regularly worked out together during the league’s shutdown and had both been absent from camp. Margin Gallegos of MLB.com tweeted earlier that Fiers is back in camp and working out with the club, so it seems he tested negative.
The 22-year-old Luzardo is widely considered to be among the five best pitching prospects in all of baseball and is expected to play a key role in the Oakland rotation both this year and for the foreseeable future. The recent diagnosis and subsequent need to remove himself from A’s Summer Camp could conceivably delay his readiness to start early in the year, though that type of speculation is of course secondary to his overall well-being.
Luzardo made his MLB debut with the A’s last year, tossing 12 innings and allowing just two runs on five hits and three walks with 16 strikeouts. A strained rotator cuff limited Luzardo’s time on the mound in general last season, but he was similarly excellent in 43 minor league innings: 2.51 ERA, 11.9 K/9, 1.7 BB/9. He’s expected to join Fiers, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt and fellow top prospect A.J. Puk in what should be a formidable mix of Oakland starters in 2020.