PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Former Pirates second baseman and current Philadelphia Phillies player Neil Walker says he is “pretty confident” that Major League Baseball and players are taking the coronavirus outbreak seriously and doesn’t have reservations reporting to camp on Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh native talked to 93.7 The Fan’s Jim Colony from his home over the weekend and says his family will stay behind in Pittsburgh while he is in Philadelphia.
“I think it’s pretty universal around the league that guys are taking this much more seriously than it seems, than what people may believe, particularly after these after these last couple weeks,” said Walker.
Last week it was reported that 12 people in the Phillies organization had tested positive for COVID-19, seven of those players.
Walker and his wife have a 7 month and a 4-year-old and says his family may make a weekend trip during the summer to visit him.
Walker says he knows of some family friends that have been infected but no one he knows around the area have tested positive.
Walker still has to make the Phillies roster but is confident he will make the team, even more so now that rosters will be expanded from 26 to 30 players.
Rosters will go down to 28 after two weeks and back to 26 after a month.
“I’m going to have to be ready here when thinks kick back up and be prepared for any opportunities that come my way, and If guys get banged up or need a break in the dog days of late July and August,” said Walker.
The addition of the designated hitter will also give Walker an added opportunity to play more.
With a 60 game season, Walker says stacking wins will be very important this season.
“If you play good baseball for a month, you’re going to have a chance to sneak into the playoffs ... you’re not going to have the luxury to start his season 5 and 15 and try to climb back it’s just the reality of it.”