Merrifield optimistic about Royals in short season; talks coronavirus and the clubhouse

MLB Kansas City

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Baseball is back in a compact form compared to what fans are used to: 60 games rather than 162, rule changes, and schedule adjustments, not to mention safety concerns galore. Despite all that, if they do get on the field for games, the quicker season could play to Kansas City’s advantage.

Summer camp in place of spring training under first-year manager Mike Matheny started lats Friday. As the team gets ready at Kauffman, the roster looks to be pretty explosive. speed and power are all around and last year’s MLB leader in hits thinks they can surprise some people.

“I think we felt pretty good about our team going into the regular spring training, so, knock on wood, guys are staying healthy and we navigate through this thing we’ve got going on and keep guys on the field, I think we’ve got a really good chance to do something pretty cool,” said Whit Merrifield, who led the American League in hits and triples lat year.

One guy already off the field with that thing is Salvador Perez, the thing being coronavirus. He tested positive but is asymptomatic. Safety precautions are in place at summer camp but the way this virus moves, this seemed inevitable. For Merrifield, the concerns with it hit close to home, but when you’re a major league baseball player or any athlete, you’ve got another family to think about and the all-star feels like their just as important.

“I’m saying this coming from a wife that has a compromised immune system, and there’s never a hesitation from her or me about playing this year because she’s been with me since high school, she understands what it takes to get to this level. She understands this level is a short window of time and she also understands that just like I have an obligation to her to be the best husband I can be, to my siblings the best brother I can be and to my parents to be the best son I can be. I have an obligation to those guys in there because those guys are my family as well.”

The MLB will have a full schedule out this week, possibly as soon as tomorrow. Opening day is scheduled for July 23rd with most teams playing the following day.

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