MLB spring training: Shane Bieber, 2020 Cy Young winner, tests positive for COVID-19


As pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training and other players file in for the 2021 season, we were bound to get a reminder than the pandemic was not yet in our rearview pretty quickly. It came in the form of a big name on Thursday, when Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti announced to reporters (Mandy Bell of included) that Shane Bieber has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Bieber is said to have “very, very mild symptoms” and is working through the MLB-mandated protocols to rejoin the team. In fact, they expect him to be back in just a few days. 

The bigger picture here is this is yet another reminder that the 2021 season will be impacted by the virus, even if the impact is much lesser than it was for the 60-game season in 2020. Let’s also hope — and it feels like a very realistic hope at this point — that the impact lessens as the season progresses and the medical/science communities continue to do their thing with regard to the virus. 

Bieber, of course, won the 2020 AL Cy Young and finished fourth in AL MVP voting. He was 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 122 strikeouts against 21 walks in 77 1/3 innings. He led the majors in wins, ERA, strikeouts, ERA+, FIP and pitcher WAR. 

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