MLB is just a few weeks away from Opening Day with baseball scheduled to return amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With the list of players opting out of the season growing, Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout is now expressing uncertainty about playing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As states continue to report record spikes of the coronavirus, including in California, Trout is nervous about the upcoming season. Playing during the COVID-19 pandemic is risky, but Trout’s situation is even more difficult.
Trout’s wife, Jessica, is scheduled to give birth to the couple’s first child in August. While everyone is at risk for contracting the coronavirus, data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that pregnant women and their babies are at greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
Given the risk his family faces, the three-time AL MVP admitted on Friday that he is nervous heading into summer camp about playing this year.
Mike Trout on deciding to play: “Honestly, I still don’t feel comfortable."— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 3, 2020
The 28-year-old outfielder is in the prime of his career and at his peak in terms of health, but he also must heavily weigh how the coronavirus could impact his family. While he might be leaning towards playing, the decision isn’t final and discussions with his wife and the team are ongoing.
Trout hasn’t been shy about calling out MLB’s plans for health and safety before. Now that Opening Day is fast approaching and players are working out together, the risks of contracting the virus are becoming more real.
More from #Angels CF Mike Trout on trepidation of playing: "If I test positive, doctors are saying I can't see the baby for 14 days. Biggest thing is keeping Jess safe, keeping the baby safe. I have to be really cautious." Why do this? "Because I love playing the game."— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) July 3, 2020
It still seems likely that Trout will play to start the season, but his mindset could change. If there is suddenly a COVID-19 outbreak in the Angels clubhouse or it becomes clear playing in this environment is too risky, he seems ready to step away.
MLB can afford to see some players opt out of the 2020 season. If Trout ends up sitting out and more players follow him, then the league will face a very difficult decision about playing baseball.