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Phillies Lose their Ace, Two Others to COVID List to Make Seven Affected

The bad news continues for the Phillies as they arrive to Philadelphia for "Summer Camp".  After Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inqurier reported that disabled list stays for reliever Tommy Hunter, second baseman Scott Kingery, potential starter Ranger Suarez and closer Hector Neris were COVID-related, the bad news did not end there.  The Phillies have taken one more big hit.

Absent from workouts today were ace pitcher Aaron Nola, catcher Christian Bethancourt, and outfielder Adam Haseley.  There was no explanation from Phillies manager Joe Girardi, an indicator that something could be up.   After doing some math - the four identified players plus the aforementioned three others could equal the seven players the Phillies said contracted COVID-19, Breen once again got the scoop.

Breen reports that Nola is on the COVID list.  Both Haseley and Bethancourt could be, too, as manager Joe Girardi said they were "kept out for COVID protocol".

There are no specifics on any of the seven Phillies affected by the virus.  Are they asymptomatic? Are they showing symptoms?  How far along are they with the virus? How much recovery time is necessary?

None of that is known right now.  But the Phillies have just 20 days before they are set to open the 2020 season.  The Phillies presumably will open on Friday, July 24, as they were not one of the four teams USA Today reported will open the season on July 23.

Outside of the Phillies, we learned Saturday via Mark Bowman of MLB.com that the Atlanta Braves will be without their offensive juggernaut Freddy Freeman, who tested positive for COVID-19.  The Braves will also be without pitchers Touki Toussant, Will Smith, and Pete Kozma.

Meanwhile, 2020 Phillies opponent New York Yankees saw their 2019 MVP test positive, DJ LeMahieu.

The hope would be that the many Phillies will recover - and with seven players the Phillies were counting on in 2020 testing positive, hopefully that would mean they are not going to get the virus once again and will be able to build into the season.  But even with an expanded roster of 30 to open the season, missing Nola will particularly hurt.

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