ESPN baseball reporter Jeff Passan posted to his Twitter that Nationals star outfielder Juan Soto has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss tonight’s season opener against the New York Yankees.
Washington Nationals star Juan Soto has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss tonight's season opener against the New York Yankees, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 23, 2020
Considering Major League Baseball’s .05% positive test rate, this news comes as a surprise that drastically affects the race for the NL East. A 60-game season will do nothing to soften the blow of losing the franchise’s best player for the foreseeable future.
ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted earlier this morning that Major League Baseball was working to expand playoffs from 10-16 teams, which may be a second life following the news on Juan Soto.
The Nationals open up their season tonight at 7:07 p.m Eastern against Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees. The absence of Juan Soto looms large as the defending World Series champions look to overcome the Cy Young runner up and save the short season.