Diamondbacks outfielder Kole Calhoun tested positive for COVID-19
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Kole Calhoun has tested positive for COVID-19, manager Torey Lovullo said Monday.
Calhoun has not been present for any of the team’s summer camp that started on Friday. He is asymptomatic and feeling well, according to Lovullo.
The manager could not clarify the date in which Calhoun tested positive, but a round of mandatory testing began on July 1, two days before the beginning of camp.
Calhoun signed a two-year deal with a club option for the 2022 season in late December and is expected to be the team’s starting right fielder.
His absence, though, does show how much teams can be affected by the virus in the middle of a season.
“I feel strongly that Kole is going to be OK and he’s gonna join us and not skip a beat,” Lovullo said. “However, we do have contingency plans in place, not necessarily in this one specific spot, but all over the field. You just don’t know how to budget or forecast what’s going to happen.”
Depth options for Arizona include Jon Jay, Tim Locastro and Josh Rojas, as well as high-rated prospects Corbin Carroll and Alek Thomas. Lovullo could also move Ketel Marte into center field and Starling Marte to right.
“We are extremely versatile with several of the guys,” Lovullo said of potential replacement options for Calhoun if the virus persists.
Outfielder David Peralta was also not participating prior to Monday, but Peralta was under the weather and had to take a test four different times before being cleared. He tested negative for all four and returned Monday. Relief pitchers Silvino Bracho and Junior Guerra are the two other D-backs players who have tested positive.
Calhoun, 32, is an eight-year veteran who has spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Angels after being drafted in the eighth round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Arizona State.
The Buckeye, Ariz. native is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, as he set career highs in home runs (33) and slugging percentage (.467), while also having the second-best OPS of his career (.792).
Calhoun added 74 RBIs in 152 games played on the 2019 campaign.
His batting average has underwhelmed the past two seasons, as he hit .232 in 2019 and only .208 the year before for a combined .221 in those two seasons. But his on-base percentage was .325 as he drew 70 walks last year, good for 36th-most in baseball. His WAR was 2.3 in 2019, a significant improvement from the previous season.
The lefty also received a Gold Glove Award in 2015.