Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez is not yet in training camp but the team won’t say why.
While none of the Houston Astros players appear to have opted out of the season thus far, that doesn’t mean everyone is present in camp. Sophomore slugger Yordan Alvarez is conspicuously absent, and the team isn’t publicly saying why.
Manager Dusty Baker spoke to the media on Friday and confirmed that Alvarez is not in Houston, but said “league mandates” prevent him from giving a reason. The speculation, of course, immediately turned to the possibility of Alvarez contracting or being exposed to COVID-19, as teams are prohibited from publicly disclosing the names of players who’ve tested positive.
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We do know, per GM James Click, that some Astros players and/or staff have tested positive for the Coronavirus this week, but we don’t know who or how many. Click did say he’s heard that the reigning Rookie of the Year is “ready to go,” and Baker said he hopes Alvarez will arrive “in a few days.”
MLB and the MLBPA jointly released a statement on Friday detailing the results of the first set of COVID-19 tests taken prior to workouts beginning. Of the 3,185 total samples taken, a total of 38 came back positive, which is 1.2 percent of the total. Of those 38 positives, 31 were players and seven were staff members.
In all, 19 different clubs had at least one positive test, and we know the Astros are one of those. The fact that only 1.2 percent tested positive is a good sign, so the hope will be that the league-wide numbers can stay low throughout the season.
We won’t know for sure if Alvarez has tested positive unless he reveals it himself, but there’s a distinct possibility of it. Regardless, the fact that the team is expecting him back in a few days is a good sign, as they’ll need his bat in the lineup this year. Hopefully he doesn’t miss too much time so he can get up to speed before Opening Day.