Scott Kingery took part in the Phillies’ Summer Camp activities today, his first time taking the field since a positive COVID-19 diagnosis last month. Kingery discussed his condition with Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer and other reporters, detailing the multitude of unpleasant symptoms associated with his battle with the coronavirus.
“It’s not just a two-week thing. I think there’s some stuff with the testing that [shows] the virus can stay in your body for a lot longer than we think,” Kingery said. “Because of all the protocols you have to go through, it’s been about a month-long thing. That’s going to be half of the season if you get it during the season.”
In Kingery’s case, he suffered from such varied problems as headaches, fever, chills, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of both his sense of smell and sense of taste over the course of several weeks. Once this ordeal had passed and Kingery went 72 hours without any symptoms, Kingery tested negative on a pair of COVID-19 tests and an electrocardiogram before being fully cleared to be part of the Phillies’ camp.
The Phillies have been perhaps the hardest-hit of any team by the coronavirus, with at least seven players and multiple coaches all held out of camp due to either contracting the virus themselves, or coming into contact with someone who did have the virus. Of that group, Aaron Nola and Adam Haseley weren’t COVID-19 positive themselves, while Kingery, Tommy Hunter, and Mikie Mahtook tested positive. Bench coach Rob Thomson also tested positive but was cleared to resume his duties today in camp, Lauber wrotes in a separate piece.
It isn’t yet certain if Kingery will be ready for the Opening Day roster, given that he only just began proper baseball activities alongside his teammates. Phillies manager Joe Girardi noted that the team has a number of veteran infielders (Josh Harrison, Neil Walker, Logan Forsythe) on hand who “give you a lot of options” should Kingery need some extra time to ramp up.
“Scott’s health is the most important thing, and I don’t want him to end up on the [injured list] because his legs weren’t ready or he’s still feeling a little bit weak. We’ve got to make sure that he’s really good to go,” Girardi said.
After working as a super-utility player in his first two MLB seasons, Kingery was expected to serve primarily as Philadelphia’s regular second baseman this season. Jean Segura is moving over to third base to accommodate the newly-signed Didi Gregorius, while Harrison, Walker, and Forsythe are fighting for bench roles and could serve as extra depth all over the infield. This could include second base in the event of a Kingery absence, or if Kingery is available but is being used as a center fielder.