Dodgers Briefing: Several players missing, Muncy hurt, Kershaw gets opener

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

Catching you up on all of the latest news about the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Good Morning, Dodger fans!

With baseball back in the fold, I will be releasing a daily briefing on the key stories you need to know about the Dodgers. Hope you enjoy, please leave feedback in the comments.

1. Several Dodgers are still missing from summer camp

There are seven Dodgers from the 40-man roster who still haven’t arrived at Dodger Stadium for Spring Training 2.0.

Protecting player privacy: As teams throughout Major League Baseball try to balance a respect for privacy with an obligation to keep the public informed through daily press conferences, it is unclear why these players haven’t reported to camp yet. Per MLB rule, teams are not allowed to share whether a player tested positive without the player’s permission. The unique situation leaves manager Dave Roberts providing updates on who is missing from camp without the ability to explain why.

"“I don’t think there’s a right or wrong,” Roberts said via the Los Angeles Times. “I think that’s the individual’s right to voice what’s going on with them personally. I don’t think it’s my call to make that public. Some people are handling it differently.”"

Who is missing: Left-hander Scott Alexander, right-hander Tony Gonsolin, catcher Keibert Ruiz, closer Kenley Jansen, outfielder A.J. Pollock, second baseman Gavin Lux, and set-up man Pedro Baez have all failed to report for reasons not disclosed by the team.

Health risks: A few of the players who haven’t reported have health risks known to the public.

  • Kenley Jansen has had heart problems in the past, so perhaps he is considering his options for opting out as a player who is potentially at higher risk to severe illness from Covid-19. However, this is purely speculation, there hasn’t been any reporting to suggest this is the case.
  • A.J. Pollock’s wife recently gave birth to a premature baby, which has kept Pollock in the NICU during the break from play. He has said in several interviews that he hopes he can return to play while keeping his family safe, but there has been no update on why he hasn’t reported to camp.
  • Scott Alexander has Type 1 diabetes. He was recently quoted in the Los Angeles Times in saying, “From what I’ve been told by our doctors, as long as I keep my glucose numbers in good range and keep myself healthy, then I’m not really at any higher risk [to Covid-19].”

Opt outs: David Price announced over the Holiday weekend that he has decided to sit out the season due to health concerns related to Covid-19. As a veteran with two more years remaining on his contract, he is in a better position to opt out than others. For example, if Mookie Betts were to follow Price’s course of action, he would lose service time for this season and delay his eligibility for free agency until 2021.

  • Betts: “I’m not in the same predicament as someone who can opt out.”

Several positive tests throughout baseball: Rather than list the names of players who have reportedly tested positive, I will simply note the number increases each day. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants suspended workouts at Oracle Park as they have yet to receive test results from Saturday. The Giants become the third team to shutdown workouts due to testing delays. Both the Nationals and Astros closed their facilities on Monday.