Yoshitomo Tsutsugo

Austin Meadows COVID-19
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Austin Meadows tests positive for COVID-19

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed on the injured list. Meadows, who gave the Rays permission to disclose his test results, hadn’t been with the team for their workouts after initially passing intake testing.

Meadows, 25, broke out in a big way for the Rays last season, batting .291/.364/.558 with 33 home runs, 89 RBI, 83 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 591 plate appearances. He was named to the AL All-Star roster and received a handful of down-ballot votes for the AL MVP Award.

To replace Meadows on the 40-man roster, the Rays added lefty reliever Aaron Loup. Loup missed most of the 2019 season due to an elbow injury, registering just 3 1/3 innings with the Padres.

It is not known how the virus has impacted Meadows specifically, so it is still unknown whether or not he will be ready to rejoin the Rays in time for Opening Day on July 24. The Rays open the season hosting the Blue Jays. In the event Meadows isn’t ready to start the season, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo could play in left field regularly. Manuel Margot could also be considered.