Astros missing eight pitchers at camp due to health and safety protocols
Astros manager Dusty Baker said Friday the team now has eight pitchers staying away from their spring training camp in West Palm Beach, Fla. due to health and safety protocols.
Bakers did not say if any of the players have tested positive for COVID-19.
Major League Baseball rules do not allow teams to comment on players’ health issues that are not related to their onfield performance.
MLB rules do stipulate that players out due to health and safety protocols must quarantine for a minimum of seven days.
Friday Baker said pitchers Pedro Baez, Cristian Javier, Enoli Paredes, Hector Velazquez and Francis Martes are away from camp due to health and safety protocols.
He said Thursday Bryan Abreu, Luis Garcia and Ronel Blanco are out for the same reasons.
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Asked if he’s concerned about this situation Baker said: "What’s my level of concern gonna do to change it? We just have to adjust and readjust," Baker said.
"We just got to find a way to work around it and a solution because we’re missing quite a few arms. We’re concerned, but fortunately we had more pitchers than we knew what to do with when we opened camp. What this does, it gives guys opportunities to shine."
Baker said the Astros are making sure their players are doing all the things necessary to keep this situation from becoming worse.
"Wearing masks, washing their hands, social distancing," Baker said. "We’ve been reinforcing that. I just hope it’s not too late."
Astros general manager James Click said the team has plans in place to help their players, who are away from camp, continue to work out.
"Unfortunately this was a forseeable situation," Click said. "This is why the protocols are in place. We anticipated that this might happen and we have a plan in place to maintain our guys’ ability to get their work in even if they’re not allowed in the facility so that they can continue to be ready for opening day."
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Click was asked if he has any concerns about the team having to pause their work at their spring training facility.
"No, we are not concerned about that," Click said. "We are following the protocols and the protocols are designed to isolate any potential issues and prevent them from reaching a scale at which point we would have to consider shutting down or pausing."