The Philadelphia Phillies already had four players on the COVID-19 injured list, and three more players reportedly have been added to the list. And one of the players is crucial to the Phillies’ hopes to contend in 2020.
Phillies ace Aaron Nola has been placed on the COVID-19 IL, according to Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Nola, outfielder Adam Haseley, and catcher Christian Bethancourt haven’t reported to Philadelphia’s Summer Camp yet, and a source tells Breen that they have all been placed on the COVID-19 IL.
Aaron Nola’s status for the start of the season is in question as the Phillies No. 1 starter was placed this week on the COVID-19 Injured List, according to a source.
Joe Girardi said Saturday that Nola, centerfielder Adam Haseley, and catcher Christian Bethancourt had yet to report to summer camp but declined to explain why. All three, a source said, have been placed on the COVID-19 list.
Utility man Scott Kingery, and pitchers Tommy Hunter, Hector Neries, and Ranger Suarez had already been on the COVID-19 IL for the Phillies.
The COVID-19 IL is to be used for players that have tested positive for COVID-19, players that display COVID-19-related syptoms, or players that have come into contact with an infected person.
Nola, 27, led all National League pitchers with a 10.2 WAR (wins above replacement) in 2018, according to Baseball Reference. He had a 2.37 ERA in 212 1/3 innings pitched that season. In 2019, he had a 3.87 ERA in 202 1/3 innings pitched.
While the Phillies have several highly talented players (especially on the position-player side with Bryce Harper and JT Realmuto), there’s a case to be made that Nola is the most important player to their roster. He’s the ace and workhorse of this staff.
There’s no information yet as to why Nola is on the COVID-19 IL, and even if he has the virus, he could of course be asymptomatic. But if he’s forced to miss any time at all in the 60-game season, that could be a substantial loss for the Phillies.
This news comes on the same day that a Phillies NL East rival, the Atlanta Braves, announced that four players have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes star first baseman Freddie Freeman, who’s battling a fever.
Brian Snitker said Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Touki Toussaint and Pete Kozma all tested positive for COVID-19. Freeman is still battling a fever. Smith and Toussaint have been asymptomatic. These are the only four Braves who are known to have tested positive.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 4, 2020
And the New York Yankees announced that star infielder DJ LeMahieu tested positive for COVID-19, but he’s asymptomatic.
DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa tested positive for COVID-19 before coming in to New York for intake testing, Aaron Boone says. LeMahieu is asymptomatic*, and Cessa’s symptoms are mild.
*bad typo on my end in a previous tweet.
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) July 4, 2020
Additionally, many players are choosing to opt out of the season, with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price — a five-time All-Star and former Cy Young award winner — becoming the latest to do so on Saturday.