The Royals announced that right-handed pitcher Brad Keller and first baseman Ryan O’Hearn have tested positive for the coronavirus, after receiving permission to disclose that information from both players. Keller said he has had minor symptoms that remind him of an allergy attack, but otherwise feels great. O’Hearn has been asymptomatic and said he feels fine. Both players will quarantine and will need two negative tests, have no fever for 72 hours, and be cleared by a doctor before they rejoin the team.
Here are statements from both RHP Brad Keller and 1B Ryan O'Hearn: pic.twitter.com/U7ePpRfV74— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) July 7, 2020
Keller was sent home after a second test confirmed his positive result. He had been involved in workouts and did a live session last weekend. He was in the running with Danny Duffy to be the Opening Day starter, an honor he won last year, winning the first game of the year. He went 7-14 with a 4.19 ERA in 165 1⁄3 innings last year. O’Hearn was battling with Ryan McBroom for playing time at first base, and was having a fantastic spring training before it was suspended. He is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2019 season in which he hit .195/.281/.369 with 14 home runs in 105 games.
Salvador Pérez revealed he had also tested positive over the weekend, but is asymptomatic and his family has already tested negative. Manager Mike Matheny also revealed he recovered from the coronavirus a month ago. Players on the COVID-19 Injured List will not count against the 60-man club pool. The team did add catchers Freddie Fermin and Allan de San Miguel to the club pool today, and placed catcher Meibrys Viloria and infielder Matt Reynolds on the Injured List.
Dayton Moore tells me the Royals are still hopeful that Brad Keller and Ryan O'Hearn will be ready by Opening Day, July 24: "It's a little more problematic for a starting pitcher who needs to be stretched out. But they'll get their work in. We'll get through this."— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) July 7, 2020