The Angels held their first organized workout on Friday at Angel Stadium, and superstar Mike Trout has reservations about playing baseball through a pandemic.
“Honestly, I still don’t feel that comfortable. There’s a lot of stuff going through my mind right now, my wife’s mind, my family,” Trout said Friday. “It’s gonna be tough. I’ve got to be really cautious these next couple weeks. I don’t want to test positive. I don’t want to test positive. I don’t want to bring it back to my wife. It’s a tough situation we’re in.”
Trout’s and his wife Jessica are expecting their first child soon. He said doctors told him if he or his wife tests positive they wouldn’t be able to see the baby for two weeks.
“The biggest biggest issue right now is just keeping Jess safe, the baby safe,” he said. “Obviously me coming to the field every day, testing is huge, but I’ve got to definitely be really cautious.”
A player can take up to three days on the paternity list during the season, and could add up to seven days on the family medical emergency list.
So far, five major league players have opted out of playing the 2020 season — Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake, Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond, and Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross, and catcher Welington Castillo.
“Sports is really important for the country right now. But we’re risking our families and risking our lives to go out here and play for everyone,” Trout said. “My mindset is to play. I want to play. It’s just a tough situation.
“If there’s an outbreak or something happens in these next few weeks, I have to reconsider,” Trout said. “I love baseball, but I got to do what’s right for my family.”
Angels manager Joe Maddon said he had conversations with Trout, and understands his concerns.
“Becoming a father for the first time, it’s very significant. That’s one thing, but then to do it under these circumstances, there’s different layers involved. And there’s a lot of concern for the baby and for his for his wife, not for himself so much, but for everybody else,” Maddon said. “The perspective that he needs to stay well, because there’s going to be around these people. So yeah, there’s a lot to think about. And you can’t take any of this lightly.”
Maddon said nine or 10 players are not in camp, but wouldn’t say specifically why. Teams aren’t allowed to disclose if an individual player tests positive for coronavirus without written authorization from the player, as it falls under a non-work-related injury per the collective bargaining agreement.
The team is stressing that all players and coaches follow the health and safety protocols to a tee.
“Every organization really needs to tighten up their bubble and that’s, that’s what we’re trying to do,” Maddon said. “So, right now we’re all being asked to be the best version of ourselves and the best teammate you’ve ever been in your life.”