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Patrick Sandoval cleared in Angels camp after positive coronavirus test

“I tried to be as safe as possible, limiting my contact with friends and family. It was tough, but I still ended up getting it,” Sandoval said.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Angels pitcher Patrick Sandoval didn’t report to Angels camp until July 9, and now we know why. Sandoval said Monday that he tested positive for coronavirus on June 22.

“Honestly, the first three days were a little rough. I had body aches, chills, a fever,” Sandoval said via Zoom on Monday from the Angels’ alternate training site at Blair Field in Long Beach. “My back just had a bunch of pressure on it. It was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. It was pretty heavy for a few days.”

Per MLB protocols, in order to be activated, Sandoval needed to have two negative diagnostic tests at least 24 hours apart, which he said were his first two tests taken, about two weeks after testing positive.

“The biggest challenge, after the body itself was you know, sitting at home alone for however many days, not being able to do anything and just missing life,” he said.

Sandoval tried to pinpoint when he might have contracted the virus, saying he went golfing with a friend and three days later started to experience systems, which led to his test.

“I tried to be as safe as possible, limiting my contact with friends and family. It was tough, but I still ended up getting it,” Sandoval said. “Nobody knows really knows what’s going on with the virus. There’s just so many questions still to be answered about it.”

Now that he’s in camp, Sandoval is theoretically in the mix for a spot on the opening day roster, though after more than two weeks without really throwing much he might not have enough time left to be ready. Manager Joe Maddon said as much Monday.

The Angels plan to use a six-man rotation, including Shohei Ohtani pitching once a week. Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning, and Dylan Bundy have secure rotation spots. Julio Teheran still has yet to report to camp, and as of last week was still in Atlanta awaiting coronavirus test results, per an interview with ESPN Deportes, which for now leaves two open spots on the starting staff.

Sandoval reported to camp on Thursday and threw a bullpen session over the weekend.

Acquired from the Astros along with international slot money in December 2018, Sandoval made his major league debut with the Angels last year. He started nine games in the final two months, though rarely lasted longer than two times through the batting order.

The Mission Viejo High School grad in 39⅓ innings had a 5.03 ERA with the Angels, with 42 strikeouts and 19 walks.