The COVID-19 pandemic has already thrown a major curveball to the 2020 MLB season, as positive tests across multiple teams, most notably the Miami Marlins, have canceled a handful games in what was scheduled to be a shortened 60-game season to begin with.
The St. Louis Cardinals are another team that has seen games canceled this week after multiple players and coaches tested positive. Neither the Marlins or Cardinals have publicly disclosed which players in particular tested positive, but for players like University of Hawaii alum Kolten Wong, it’s meant four straight games canceled. When the Cardinals finally do play on Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers, it will be their first game since Wednesday, July 29.
For players from Hawaii who did see action this past week, Rico Garcia of the San Francisco Giants stands above the pack. The Saint Louis and Hawaii Pacific alum made two appearances this week and tossed scoreless innings in both, following up on a strong opening weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In five total appearances this season, he’s given up no runs in three total innings.
Below are how other players with Hawaii ties fared in the second week of the MLB season:
Kolten Wong, second baseman, St. Louis Cardinals (Kamehameha-Hawaii and University of Hawaii): Because of the string of four canceled games, Wong played in just two games this week, going 0-for-8 over two games against the Minnesota Twins. He’s currently hitting .200 this season with four hits in 20 at-bats.
Kurt Suzuki, catcher, Washington Nationals (Baldwin): The Nationals got three games in this week against the Blue Jays, although three other games against the Marlins from July 31-Aug. 2 were canceled. Suzuki went 3-for-13 in the series against Blue Jays and is hitting .263 for the season with 3 RBIs.
Kirby Yates, closer, San Diego Padres (Kauai): In his lone appearance of the week, Yates allowed three hits and two runs in 0.2 innings pitched against the Rockies. His ERA is a high 15.43 after allowing four earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched for the 2020 season. Yates, the 2019 MLB saves leader, has yet to notch a save in 2020.
Greg Garcia, infielder, San Diego Padres (University of Hawaii): Garcia had a four-game hitting streak snapped in a 9-6 loss to the Rockies on Sunday in which he started at third base and batted fifth in the lineup for the Padres. He’s currently hitting .308 this season.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, utility, Texas Rangers (Mid-Pacific): Kiner-Falefa has maintained his starting role at third base for the Rangers in the early going, routinely batting ninth in the lineup. He’s currently batting .200 at the plate with one error on the field.
Josh Rojas, utility, Arizona Diamondbacks (University of Hawaii): Rojas was optioned by the Diamondbacks on Saturday, getting sent down from the active roster to the 60-man player pool. In his lone MLB plate appearance this season, Rojas struck out against the Padres on July 27.
Other players with Hawaii ties in an MLB 60-man player pools but not on an active roster:
David Freitas, catcher, Milwaukee Brewers (University of Hawaii)
Jordan Yamamoto, starting pitcher, Miami Marlins (Saint Louis): Although not on the opening day roster for the Marlins, Yamamoto is one of the potential names likely to get a call-up due to the amount of players on the team testing positive for COVID-19.
Joey Cantillo, pitcher, San Diego Padres (Kailua): Although unlikely to appear in an MLB game this year due to his young age, Cantillo was the feature of a nice MLB.com feature on Thursday.