Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Now that teams are in Summer Camp in preparation for the 2020 regular season, the biggest focus going forward will be ensuring the health and safety of players, coaches and essential team staff members.
MLB and the Players Association worked together to finalize the necessary protocols, which have an emphasis on physical distancing and good hygiene practices.
But as coronavirus (COVID-19) cases surge in parts of the United States, it offers a stark reminder that getting through the 2020 season will come with many challenges. There is no question that various players will contract the virus at some point this summer. The key will be how teams respond in order to prevent large outbreaks.
“Part of the challenge is there are a lot of unknowns,” Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently said.
“I think there’s no question we’re going to have a decent number of positive tests in Spring Training and the season. To me, it’s much more about how quick we are to respond to that, treatment options, the quarantine part of it and making sure it doesn’t spread among the group.
“To the extent we can contain it, and we have really good health and safety protocols in place, I think it’s something that collectively, as a group, everyone working together, I think it’s something we can manage.”
The Dodgers have already experienced that firsthand as Kenley Jansen was delayed in reporting to camp because he and his family contracted the virus three weeks ago. Jansen chose to reveal the reasoning behind his late arrival, and he stressed the importance of being cautious.
For as much Jansen’s case and that of others may prove useful, Friedman is mindful not to become blinded by that information.
“But again, I think anyone that pretends they can sit here today and tell you exactly how things are going to play out, I just don’t strive to that or agree with it,” he said.
“There’s a lot we don’t know, and a lot of our conversations internally have been about staying on our toes, staying nimble and trying to communicate our way through everything, read and react as things pop up. That’s our plan and as we continue to learn more we’ll get smarter with how we do things.”
Players considered high-risk have the option of sitting the season out and being fully compensated. So too will players that have family members with underlying health conditions.
Dodgers waiting on others in Summer Camp
While Jansen reported to Dodger Stadium this week, the Dodgers still are without Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, AJ Pollock and Keibert Ruiz.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!