Joe Maddon provided an update to reporters on the state of the Angels amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Manager Joe Maddon told reporters on a conference call that he still hasn’t heard of any Angels players or staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. There was some concern about the Angels coming into contact with the virus after it was reported that NBA star Charles Barkley, who had visited Angels camp on March 2, had later put himself into self-quarantine while awaiting results from a coronavirus test. Meanwhile, an Arizona-based employee for the Reds has tested positive for the virus.
Maddon said there are currently no workouts at the club’s Spring Training facility in Tempe. MLB issued a memo earlier in the week advising against group workouts, although team facilities would remain open for individual needs. Maddon indicated that Angels players are dispersed between Arizona and their home cities.
While it seems unlikely baseball will return before June, Maddon sounded optimistic about a season being played at some point, telling reporters, “I believe the season is going to be played. I believe it may not incorporate a full 162, but I believe we’ll play a pretty full major league season.” Maddon also offered the idea of returning to empty stadiums and mic’ing up players to increase fan interaction.
Shohei Ohtani has been given clearance to return to Japan, but it’s unclear if he will do so. Right now, he is still in Arizona and will be headed back to Southern California soon. A shorter season could prove to be an advantage for the two-way star who was set to work on an innings limit this season.
Maddon told reporters he urges everyone to follow social distancing guidelines. He has been spending time cooking with his crockpot in his RV. He has an 87-year-old mother who he wants to keep safe along with the rest of the high-risk population.