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Angels say two players in organization test positive for COVID-19

Angels general manager Billy Eppler watches during spring training practice Feb. 17, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler, seen at spring camp in February, said Friday that two players in the organization had tested positive for COVID-19.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

The Angels on Friday learned that two players in the organization had tested positive for COVID-19, general manager Billy Eppler said.

As the MLB Players Assn. and the league drag out negotiations for a return to play, the threat of an outbreak of coronavirus within the sport looms. Cases are surging in the South and West, including in states that are home to nine of the 10 teams that would comprise MLB’s Western Region this season. Record-high case counts were recorded this week in Los Angeles County and California. In Orange County, case counts and hospitalizations went up this week even as testing counts went down.

Eppler would not disclose if the players were on the major league roster, citing medical privacy law, but added that one of the players had showed mild symptoms.

All teams were directed to shut their training facilities for cleaning and disinfectant procedures after a day in which coronavirus outbreaks in Arizona and Florida hit team complexes in both states. The Philadelphia Phillies were the first to report a flare-up of the virus, announcing that five players and three staff members had tested positive.

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The cases affecting the Angels appear to be isolated. Eppler said neither player was working out at the team’s facilities in Anaheim or Tempe, Ariz. He did not foresee a shutdown of operations at Angel Stadium. The team’s spring training complex was closed earlier in the day as precaution, in accordance with mandates from Major League Baseball.


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