His N-95 mask squarely in place, Mike Trout stroked line drives, streaked around the bases and caught flyballs at Angel Stadium. The sport’s biggest star then let something drop — he’s not “comfortable” in this COVID-19 environment and isn’t sure he’ll play this season.
At Citi Field, Mets two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom ran sprints by himself in shallow right field, then grabbed his personal bag of baseballs to throw off a bullpen mound. At Camden Yards, Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde watched practice from the stands behind the dugout.
“It’s weird,” Reds star Joey Votto said.
At Nationals Park, Max Scherzer limbered up with 65 pitches as the World Series champion Washington Nationals got back to work at 7:45 a.m. High in the press box, it was possible to hear players talking on the field about the virus.
No doubt, those sentiments echoed all around the majors.
Baseball tried to take another step forward Friday in a most uncertain setting, with players on the field at their empty home ballparks for the first team workouts since exhibition games ended March 12.
A few players were missing: San Diego outfielder Tommy Pham, Cleveland outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. and Texas reliever Brett Martin are among those who have tested positive for the virus.
“I’m sure they have fears and are dealing with the change, the protocol, the testing. All of that is different,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “But when we got out on the field and started working, it felt a lot like the beginning of spring training.”