I know you've all probably heard this news by now if you follow baseball at all, but I spent my weekend camping and didn't find out until late last night. The Braves had some significant developments over the weekend, including four players testing positive for COVID-19.
Manager Brian Snitker announced on Saturday that four Braves players, including All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman and reliever Will Smith, tested positive for COVID-19. Snitker said that Freeman is battling a fever and is "not feeling great." The Braves skipper added that it'll be a while until the team can get Freeman back.
That's obviously not good news for the team and for Freeman. Hopefully he'll recover and get back to full health quickly, but in the meantime, the Braves will have to look at other options for first base.
Snitker said that Austin Riley, Adam Duvall and Johan Camargo are all options for the first base job until Freeman returns.
In other news for the Braves, former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez has decided to opt out of the 2020 season, according to his agent. Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Braves for this year, but has decided to skip the season due to concerns about COVID-19.
I'm not sure what this means for the future of the six-time All-Star. It's possible he could return to Atlanta next year, but at 34 years old and declining in performance, he could decided to hang it up now.
So in conclusion, it was a rough weekend for the Braves. There's no real timetable on Freeman's return and they lost a pitcher who was expected to be in the rotation. Only time will tell how this will affect their season once play gets started, but there are obviously bigger issues here, like the health and safety of everyone around the game. Some players aren't sure they should even be having the season, but it doesn't seem like MLB plans to shut things down again just yet.
Matthew Atkins, Journalist and Baseball fan.