Around the Majors

Nationals’ Juan Soto tests positive for coronavirus, to miss opener


FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo, Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto waits for a pitch from the New York Yankees during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Baseball begins Thursday, July 23, 2020, with the New York Yankees at Washington Nationals. Juan Soto and Washington open their title defense after winning the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Gerrit Cole is hoping to lead New York to its 28th championship after the ace right-hander signed a blockbuster deal with the Yankees in free agency. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss Thursday’s night’s season opener against the New York Yankees, general manager Mike Rizzo said.

Rizzo said that Soto was asymptomatic and that no one else on the roster was deemed ineligible following contact tracing.

“We’ve got to make our plans to play without Juan for an extended period of time,” Rizzo said on a conference call.

The Nationals did not include Soto on their initial 30-man roster for the 2020 season.

Soto, who had 34 homers and 110 RBI last year, missed the first two weeks of “summer camp” for undisclosed reasons and didn’t report until July 16. There is a Washington, D.C., rule mandating that anyone coming into contact with someone who had the coronavirus needed to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The 21-year-old Soto was a breakout star of the Nationals’ run to the 2019 World Series title, hitting .277 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in the playoffs.


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