Angels: No players with COVID-19 symptoms, Ohtani still rehabbing

Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Josh Barber/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images)
Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels, (Photo by Josh Barber/Angels Baseball LP/Getty Images) /

Angels general manager Billy Eppler provided reporters an update on the state of the Angels.

No Angels player has displayed any COVID-19 symptoms, according to general manager Billy Eppler, who answered questions for reporters on a conference call on Tuesday afternoon. This is the first update we have heard from Eppler since Spring Training was shutdown on March 12.

Manager Joe Maddon updated reporters six days ago from Tempe. Since then, players have been making their way back to their home cities, following the guidance issued by Major League Baseball to avoid group workouts and maintain safe social distances, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Eppler said Angel Stadium is open to players seeking medical treatment, which means Shohei Ohtani and Griffin Canning are the only two players allowed to access the club’s main facility.

Ohtani, who was targeted to return to the rotation in mid-May for the first time since 2018, is throwing off flat ground and could begin trowing off a mound in a few weeks. Organizations across baseball are juggling whether to keep their pitchers on a strict rehab schedule or adjust to an uncertain timeline that could see baseball on pause until after Memorial Day.

Griffin Canning was shutdown in late February after receiving biological injections in his right elbow. Eppler told reporters on Tuesday that the 23-year-old could resume throwing in a week or so. If there is a silver lining to the delayed season, from a complete baseball perspective, it’s that it allows players to get healthy without missing regular season games.

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Meanwhile, Major League Baseball and the Players Association continue to debate the merits of canceling the upcoming MLB amateur draft. According to The Athletic, there are voices on both sides who see challenges in holding the draft in June. However, the Players Association appears more in favor of keeping the draft on schedule.