The Los Angeles Dodgers invited over a dozen non-roster players to Spring Training this year, ranging from top prospects to other Minor Leaguers and even some with Major League experience. Among those who reported to Camelback Ranch was Connor Joe.
However, his time in camp was cut short. The 27-year-old participated in a handful of workouts with the Dodgers but left camp before Cactus League play began due to what was deemed a personal matter.
Joe later revealed he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent surgery in March. On Saturday, Joe posted that five months have now passed and he is cancer free. He thanked doctors and the Dodgers, and vowed to return to baseball.
View this post on Instagram
7.20.20. Exactly 5 months since being diagnosed with testicular cancer in February, I am grateful to share that I am now CANCER FREE! This experience has been humbling. A journey of overcoming new challenges – managing uncertainty, leaning on deep strength, and testing my own resolve. I’ve taken so much from this chapter. I’ve learned the importance of living intentionally. I’ve gained a much deeper appreciation for life’s struggles and victories. I’ve confirmed God is Good. Thankful for the incredible outpouring of love and support from my family and friends. This was a true team effort. My wife @kyliejoe__ a pillar of strength and guiding light. My parents and family, who always show up big, in all aspects of my life. A world-class, incredible care team at UCLA, who provided us with confidence and comfort every step of the way. My agency @jbasports_ for their tremendous work, and the @dodgers organization for their unwavering support. And of course, all the love across this special baseball community. I’m committed to continuing to bring awareness to this cause/Men’s Health. Very excited to get back to baseball. Ready for the next episode.
Joe made his MLB debut with the San Francisco Giants last season, though only appeared in eight games. He was designated by assignment and returned to the Dodgers as part of the stipulation of being selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft.
Joe originally joined the Dodgers organization since September 2017 after he was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for international bonus slot money. His professional career started with the Pittsburgh Pirates when he was selected by the organization in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft.
Over parts of five Minor League seasons, Joe owns a .271/.377/.420 slash line with 103 doubles, 11 doubles, 43 home runs and 229 RBI in 2,036 plate appearances (495 games).
Health and safety a priority
While a different set of circumstances than what Joe has overcome, the Dodgers collectively are navigating the challenges of playing a regular season under new health and safety protocols brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has given players credit for complying with the guidelines even as their routines and preparation has required adjusting. Roberts also downplayed any concern with the team’s upcoming road trip — their first of the season.
“I’m pretty optimistic,” he said. “Going from the airplane to the hotel, food will be delivered and brought to us individually on the plane. We’ll get to Houston and eat individually packaged meals there.
“I expect everyone to stay in the hotel and then go to the ballpark. And sort of go from the ballpark to the hotel, hotel to the ballpark. I’m encouraged. I think we’ll be fine.”
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