Colorado Rockies All-Star Charlie Blackmon has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the first known Major League Baseball player to contract the disease, according to ESPN. Two other players on the Rockies also tested positive for COVID-19. Of all three Rockies players, two were asymptomatic while one showed symptoms. The two players who also tested positive were Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani.
The news of the three Rockies players testing positive for the coronavirus comes on the heels of 12 members of the Philadelphia Phillies contracting the disease. The identities of the 12 Phillies have not been revealed, but it's reported seven are players and five are staff members. The Phillies were forced to close their spring training facility in Florida.
This is not what fans want to hear as the baseball season will start in less than a month. League commissioner Rob Manfred imposed a 60-game season Tuesday night and the players agreed to the deal. Opening Day will be either July 23 or 24 and there will be a few rule changes including the National League featuring a designated hitter and extra innings will start with a runner on second base.
"Major League Baseball is thrilled to announce that the 2020 season is on the horizon," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "We have provided the Players Association with a schedule to play 60 games and are excited to provide our great fans with Baseball again soon."
Rockies fans are hoping Blackmon can be 100 percent healthy once the season begins. Blackmon has been with the team since 2011 and has emerged as one of the best outfielders in all of baseball. He was named to his first All-Star Game in 2014 and finished that year with 19 home runs and 17 RBIs. Blackmon has been named an all-star the last three seasons with 2017 being his best, hitting 37 home runs, 105 RBIs, and 14 triples with a .331 batting average. Last year, Blackmon hit 32 homers, drove in 86 runs. Back in May, Blackmon talked about how he's not a fan of the designated hitter position in the National League.
"I love the strategy of, 'What am I going to do about this pitcher hitting? Am I going to send him back out there? What’s my matchup? Who’s left on my bench?'" Blackmon said on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. "I mean, I think that really changes the game."