While Major League Baseball and the players continue to try and hash out their differences in pay scale, season length, and health concerns, Japan’s NPB has been working towards getting through their version of spring training after a long delay. But two players on the Yomiuri Giants have now tested positive for COVID-19, which led to the cancellation of an exhibition game between the Giants and the Seibu Lions.
According to the team, the PCR tests taken by Sakamoto and Oshiro both showed only traces of the coronavirus. Epidemiologist Mitsuo Kaku, who advised both NPB and pro soccer’s J-League on how to deal with the virus threat, said the two were unlikely to pose an infection risk.
“The two players had recovered from their infections, and it appears a significant amount of time had passed,” Kaku said. “For that reason it appears there is not a high risk they would expose others around them.”
The two players will reportedly be away from the team until they test negatively for COVID-19. The NBP is still just two days into playing games during their build up towards opening day, which is June 19th.
Major League Baseball is likely keeping an eye on this situation as they will want to see how the teams react and respond when a situation like this does occur, because it’s almost a guarantee that it will occur if and when they get going again, too.
For now, the focus feels a lot more about who gets what money, and how long the season is going to take. But be assured that what’s happening in Japan with the Giants is being watched closely as the team and league deal with the situation.