The Phillies’ 5-0 victory yesterday was likely a relief for Gabe Kapler, who has received a good amount of criticism in the season’s first week. There was no pitching change drama, no blundering and, of course, a win is always nice.
After the game, though, one of his young stars voiced some displeasure. It was Nick Williams, who did not play in the game and who is less-than-thrilled with his playing time thus far. From Todd Zolecki of MLB.com:
“I guess the computers are making [the lineup], I don’t know. I don’t get any of it, but what can I do? I’m not going to complain about it because I have zero power. I’m just letting it ride.”
Williams has started only two of the Phillies first six games and has only 11 plate appearances. He has struggled in his limited time and suggests to Zolecki that not playing regularly is partially responsible.
Williams played mostly in right field last year. So far this year Aaron Altherr has gotten more time there. He’s 1-for-18 in 22 plate appearances.
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.