When the Los Angeles Dodgers reported to Dodger Stadium for the start of Summer Camp the first week of July, they were without several notable contributors. Among the players who didn’t arrive on time included Pedro Baez, Kenley Jansen and AJ Pollock.
Jansen and Pollock both revealed that their absences stemmed from previously testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Baez didn’t provide a reason for his late arrival, but ultimately rejoined his teammates during the second week of July.
According to Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times, Baez never contracted the virus, but was twice exposed to infected teammates, forcing him to quarantine on two separate occasions as per L.A. County mandate:
But right before the first day of workouts he was ordered to quarantine, per a Los Angeles County mandate, because he had been exposed to an infected teammate. Then, while waiting to be cleared, he was notified that he had been exposed again. The quarantine order was reset.
L.A. County guidelines stated that those who came in close contact with a COVID-19 patient must quarantine for two weeks, regardless of whether or not they test positive themselves.
The Dodgers and other professional sports teams in the city were ultimately granted an exemption from this rule, as athletes who are exposed to infected teammates can now participate in activities, contingent that they show no symptoms.
Though it took longer for Baez to ramp up for the regular season, his initial absence did not prevent him from being included on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster.
The right-hander struggled in 11 appearances before landing on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain last month. His fastball velocity most notably is down, leading to a decrease in strikeouts and increase in both walks and home runs.
Baez facing hitters, could be activated off injured list at end of week
Baez recently advanced to facing hitters for the first time since landing on the injured list. He is expected to throw to batters again later this week, and if all goes well, could be activated.
“Pedro is going to throw another bullpen [Thursday], so if we look out, he’ll face hitters probably Sunday or Monday,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said last week. “I think later next week he’ll be available to come back.”
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