Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo has decided to skip the rest of the MLB season due to COVID-19 concerns. Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Indians hitting coach opts out due to coronavirus concerns

With Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona about to miss at least a week due to a gastrointestinal issue, the club lost a different coach for the remainder of the season on Friday. 

As noted by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Indians team president Chris Antonetti told reporters on Friday that Cleveland hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo opted out of the campaign due to coronavirus risks. The Van Burkleo family has a special-needs child. 

"We are fully supportive of Ty's decision," Antonetti said while adding that Van Burkleo will continue to instruct Indians hitters remotely.

Unlike leagues such as the NHL and NBA, MLB clubs are traveling for in-market games and staying inside hotels while on the road. The stresses of partaking in such a season amid the pandemic were too much for Van Burkleo. 

Francona, meanwhile, will be out for a minimum of eight total games as he recovers in Cleveland while the Indians are on the road for a series versus the Chicago White Sox. 

Interim manager and former Cleveland catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. guided Cleveland to three straight victories over the Cincinnati Reds earlier this week. The Tribe returns home to host the Chicago Cubs for a two-game series that begins next Tuesday. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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