After Two Games vs Baltimore Orioles Juan Soto Tests Positive for Virus
Just after you think it’s safe to go out onto the field, something happens that could affect the Baltimore Orioles.
After spending two games playing against the Baltimore Orioles, Nationals outfielder Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19.
Of course, the opposing teams are kept in their own dugouts and clubhouses, but Soto was on base several times, crossing paths with catchers and infielders in the two games the Orioles played against the World Series winners.
Not many players wore masks while on the field or at bat, including the catchers of both squads. Orioles fans should expect this to change when the teams plays the Red Sox on Friday.
The news about Soto was shared via Twitter through Jeff Passan and confirmed through several Nationals sources:
His positive test will take him out of the lineup for tonight’s Opening Day game against the Yankees. Of course, this will help the Yankees.
Most importantly, it could affect the Orioles and their limited lineup. On Tuesday at Camden Yards, Soto went 1-4 with a double and a fielder’s choice that put him on base twice. He scored both times he was on base, meaning that he came in possible contact with Chris Davis, Hanser Alberto, Jose Iglesias, and Rio Ruiz. He also came in possible contact with both Pedro Severino and Bryan Holaday who both pitched that day.
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Soto also played on Monday against the Orioles at Nationals Park. In that game, he walked in the second inning, landed on first in a fielder’s choice, and doubled. Like Tuesday, he rounded the bases twice. This means he was in possible contact with Pat Valaika, Davis, Alberto, Iglesias, Renato Nunez, Holaday, and Austin Wynns.
Remember that the Orioles just welcomed back both Anthony Santander and Dwight Smith, Jr after they both tested positive for the virus as the summer training was getting started. The intersquad games and practices limit the number of people the players are exposed to. But, once they begin actual games, the risks increases. Soto’s positive test shows how close all of this is. It also clearly explains why so many players opted out – even on the Nationals.
According to CBS Sports and Nat’s manager Mike Rizzo, Soto was already late to summer training because he had possible exposure to someone who had COVID-19. Rizzo said that Soto is currently asymptomatic.
Hopefully, Soto’s positive test results will not affect the Orioles – or the rest of the Nationals. The season is so iffy as it is that having two teams quarantine would be devastating.