Ryan Braun was the Brewers’ regular left fielder from 2008-2013 before making the move to right field two years ago. The decision was made in order to give regular playing time to slugger Khris Davis, who didn’t have a strong enough arm to play right. That’s not an issue now that Davis has been traded to the Athletics, so Brewers general manager David Stearns told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the club is considering whether to move Braun back to left while installing Domingo Santana in right field.
“That could be a possibility,” general manager David Stearns said Monday. “We’re still discussing our various options.”
Santana primarily played center field after being acquired from the Astros in the Carlos Gomez deal last July, but he’s best-suited for a corner spot. This is a very different situation than what the Brewers had with Davis, as Santana has the arm (and then some) for right field. Braun is coming off back surgery, so the thought is that a move back to left field could take less of a toll on his body. Stearns and manager Craig Counsell are expected to talk over the situation with Braun before an official decision is made, but it sounds like a win-win.
The real drama in the Brewers’ outfield revolves around who will end up playing center. Rymer Liriano, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Keon Broxton, and Eric Young, Jr. are among the names in the mix as spring training approaches.
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.