Shane Bieber, 2020 Cy Young Award Winner, Tests Positive for COVID-19

MLB players are reporting to spring training this week, and one all-star player has tested positive for COVID-19. Cleveland Indians manager Chris Antonetti told reporters Thursday that pitcher Shane Bieber has contracted the virus. He is said to have "very, very mild" symptoms and is currently working through the MLB mandated protocols. Antonetti said they expect to have Bieber back in the next few days.

Bieber is coming off a career year as he won the American League Cy Young Award. The Indians pitcher was dominant in the shortened season, winning eight games and striking out 122 batter ins 12 starts. He also recorded a 1.63 ERA and has posted a 33-14 record over the past three seasons. And the interesting thing is Bieber, 25, feels like he can be a better pitcher.

"I feel like I showed flashes this year," Bieber said to after winning the Cy Young last year, "but at certain points in the year my slider was better than my curveball or my curveball was better than my cutter or my cutter was better than my slider or whatever it may have been. So for me, I want to consistently develop those pitches and continue to develop them to throw them when I want. I feel that's the next step along with potentially adding a changeup. I think that would allow me to make strides. … It's a steady climb, and I look to continue that climb."

The Indians drafted Bieber in the fourth round of the MLB Draft in 2016. He made his MLB debut in 2018 and was named an All-Star in 2019. But 2020 was the breakout year for the California native, leading the American League in wins, ERA and strikeouts.


"He has been tremendous," Indians general manager Mike Chernoff said on WFAN in New York this past September. "I mean, for a lot of your listeners who don't get to see the Indians play every day or over the years, this is a pitcher that, when we first drafted him, was a fourth-round pick, somewhat unheralded. (He) obviously had a good college career... but wasn't a superstar first-round standout."