Photo: Federal Baseball
Washington Nationals pitcher Joe Ross and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman opted out of the 2020 MLB season, the team announced on Monday. Zimmerman made it clear on Twitter that he is not retiring.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo released the following statement:
Zimmerman said in a statement that as a father of three young children, including a newborn, and with a mother in the high-risk category if she were to get COVID-19, he ultimately came to this decision.
Teams resumed training for the upcoming season a few weeks ago in Florida, the new hot spot for COVID-19 in the United States. The Philadelphia Phillies were forced to close their facility temporarily after five players tested positive for the virus earlier this month.
Ross was a candidate to start the season as the team’s fifth-string pitcher and will remain under the Nationals’ custody even after sitting this season out.
With training camp set to open at Nationals Park on Friday, the team suddenly has two spots open. Players were required to return on Wednesday so they could get tested for COVID-19.
The MLB announced last week that they will begin a shortened 60-game season on July 23 or 24.
By Harrison Brown