Phillies GM: Players must ‘stay vigilant’ against COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Phillies and the rest of the baseball world are getting ready to cautiously return. 

General manager Matt Klentak acknowledges the importance of baseball's return, but he also understands the challenges of getting through the 60-game season.

“Everybody wants the same thing,” he said. “We want baseball to come back. We're thrilled that we are coming back, but now just because we announced we're coming back doesn't mean we can take our foot off the gas.”

At least five players and three front office personnel tested positive for COVID-19 last week. None of them needed to be hospitalized.

Klentak said players will have to stay vigilant, especially with impending travel to states that are currently showing a spike in positive cases.

“It's going to take a lot of discipline from a lot of people, and it's going to put a lot of strain on the testing process,” he said. “This season is going to look and feel different for the players.”

The Phillies’ first workout is scheduled for Friday in South Philadelphia. 

Crowds will not be permitted in the stands to start the season, which will be an adjustment for both fans and players.

“The momentum of the game and the impact of the crowd noise late in the game, the home-field advantage that it creates — will we not see that as much anymore? None of us really know,” Klentak pondered.