Five days into the Orioles’ summer training, the team hasn’t announced if any of its players have tested positive for the coronavirus. When Major League Baseball announced initial results on July 3, it said that 19 teams had a player or staff member test positive.
Elias said he won’t announce if any of the Orioles have tested positive.
“It’s not our place to attempt to provide a play-by-play or minute-by-minute update on the status of such individuals,” Elias said in a video conference call on Tuesday.
Reporters who have been at the initial five days of workouts at Oriole Park have yet to spot outfielders Anthony Santander and Dwight Smith Jr. working out.
“I think there’s a lot that you’re going to be able to infer as the season goes on with people coming and going and how long they’re gone,” Elias said. “This is a private health matter. There are players who will be out sick for other reasons over the course of the year, as is the case any year, and we don’t get into too much detail there.
“We’re going to leave it up to the players to talk about the experience.”
He’s hoping that as the days pass, there will be more information.
“Eventually, things will be clearer, but that’s the way that our organization is approaching this. I think we’re not the only ones like that. Ultimately, the players are made available to media and [the] public at various times, and we’ll leave it up to them to talk about whatever they want to talk about on this topic.
“There’s going to be a lot that you’re going to be able to infer based on roster moves.”
Elias doesn’t think it will be hard to tell if there are positive tests.
“My understanding is that Major League Baseball is going to continue to revealing the statistics of positive tests, and that information will continue to come out at regular intervals. But I and the organization and everyone who’s talked about it feel it’s not the best way to handle it to immediately announce if someone has tested positive, the degree to which they’re symptomatic, whether they’re asymptomatic, and two days later, it turns out it was a negative test.
“We’re just going to take it a little more cautiously and slower than that, at least at first as we ease our way into this. This is an unprecedented situation. The sport is making an effort to get going. This is a tough circumstance. There are a lot of challenges involved.”
Spring training was halted on March 12 because of Covid-19. After a 60-game schedule was agreed to, teams got back to training last week. Elias is confident that the Orioles will be able to open against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 24.
“I feel great about it,” he said. “We feel like we’ve got a good plan in place to execute this season. We’re up against an unpredictable circumstance.”
Elias is pleased with the safety protocols that MLB and the Orioles have put in place.
“After getting in here and seeing this, I was kind of wowed by the setup here at Camden Yards and how clean and thorough and spacious everything is,” he said. “I feel better about that before we started, but we’ll just see what happens.”
Elias wants to minimize risk for the team.
“It’s going to be group health first and baseball second in a lot of circumstances this year,” he said.
The Orioles listed 44 players to begin training. Elias said that more players to fill out the 60-man player pool may be added in the coming days. Some of them might appear at Camden Yards. The Orioles have yet to open their alternate site, presumably at Bowie.
Signing draft choices: The Orioles have signed University of Mississippi infielder Anthony Servideo, their third-round pick. Servideo signed for a reported $950,000, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, . They also announced the previously reported signing of Florida high school third baseman Coby May, their fourth round pick. He was signed for a reported $1.75 million.
The Orioles have a reported agreement with Iowa high school pitcher Carter Baumler, their fifth-round pick, for $1.5 million. They haven’t announced that signing.