Kansas City has decided on Luis Mendoza as the fifth starter, which means Bruce Chen is headed to the bullpen after leading the Royals in starts, wins, and innings last season. Of course, Chen wasn’t actually much good with a 5.07 ERA.
Luke Hochevar was previously shifted to the bullpen by the Royals, so by moving Chen there as well Kansas City is now paying $9 million to a pair of non-setup/closer relievers who both had an ERA above 5.00 last year.
As for Mendoza, he has a 4.97 ERA in 41 career starts, including a 4.19 ERA in 25 starts for the Royals last season. He’ll follow James Shields, Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie, and Wade Davis in the rotation.
On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.
There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.
Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.
Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.