When the Los Angeles Dodgers opened Summer Camp at the beginning of July, they did so without several players in attendance. As team workouts began, Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, Tony Gonsolin, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux and AJ Pollock were among the notable absences.
On Monday, Alexander revealed his delayed arrival at Dodger Stadium was due to contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19). He joined Jansen and Pollock in making that public, though Alexander’s experience appears to have been more mild than that of his teammates.
“I got it right before Summer Camp opened. I had some mild symptoms but it wasn’t too bad,” he said. “I just had a fever for one night. It was a pretty good fever. I never knew the temperature, but it happened to me in the middle of the night when I was sleeping. The headache was really the main symptom, but it only lasted for 24 hours.
“I mainly slept it off and was feeling good the next day. The hardest part about it was I had to quarantine for two weeks and then had about a week to 10 days where I was having a hard time of clearing the test to get back to the stadium.
“The hardest part was not being able to throw or do any activities for those three weeks, and then show up to camp with only about a week to go. That was honestly the biggest ‘symptom,’ was kind of being behind with everything. As far as physically, I felt pretty good about 24 hours after I started feeling not so hot.”
Alexander is a diabetic and is considered a high-risk player, though he never considered opting out of the 2020 season.
“I wasn’t really worried about it at all,” Alexander said. “I had been in contact with our doctors from the beginning, to find out if they felt I was at any higher risk. Everyone just assured me that as long as I was staying on top of the normal things I would do as a diabetic to stay healthy, they said I should be fine.
“I trusted them and I’ve just kind of kept that mindset. I never had that thought about opting out. But I definitely was paying attention to the news and just making sure I was going my own due diligence to stay on top of it.”
Overcoming injury-plagued season
Alexander appeared in just 28 games last season and eventually underwent nerve decompression surgery in September to address an issue with his thumb. The southpaw has worked 3.2 innings over three appearances so far in 2020.
“It’s always great to be healthy. It seemed like a long time since I was in a game, so it was nice to get those first couple out of the way. It’s just been a lot of fun,” Alexander said.
“I felt really good to start the (2019) season. And then I had a hamstring pull or a light tear, and that kind of messed with my mechanics a little bit. It just seemed like it was a trickle down effect. It was frustrating. When it got to the point where I was having problems with the nerves in my thumb, that got kind of scary because it came out of nowhere and was my first experience with any problems with a nerve.
“It was crazy to look at my thumb and I’m telling myself to bend or move it, and it just wouldn’t move. It definitely got kind of scary. At that point I was wondering if I was going to be able to throw again. I wasn’t sure what was going on.”
Alexander and the Dodgers avoided salary arbitration during the offseason by agreeing to a one-year contract.
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